they were black silhouettes clinging to each other in the burial ground as the cedar casket was carried and in it, the body of their 17-month-old daughter, their shoulders shaking even as the casket lowered. and no parent should have to bury his own child. it should be outlawed. trent held me then and i wondered at me wanting to push him away.
but there was no anger in their footsteps as these parents prayed by the box, kissed the face of the box, said goodbye to the child they’d waited for, for eight years. and i remembered the mother’s words to me that morning: “i just wish i could have one more kiss.”
i thought then of aiden, standing in his droopy pajamas, holding his bunny, asking daddy for “more hug” before he goes off to school each morning and when do you stop hugging them? kissing them? holding them? if we knew the hour, the day, the minute we’d lose each other, would we ever let go?
the pastor spoke to a crowded church of little savanah grace, and then the eulogy was read, the one written by the parents themselves, and in it, my friend–the mother of this girl who had a rare genetic disorder–talked of not being able to breathe when the doctors gave her the final diagnosis.
savanah hadn’t eaten in days, hadn’t really woken in weeks, and her kidneys were shutting down and… all this mother could do was hold onto her baby girl and worry about such a tiny person going to such a big place like heaven. “i wondered if she would get lost; i wished i could be there to help her find her way around; heaven is such a big place, and she is such a little girl…”
and i couldn’t find enough kleenex, for all of the faith of this beautiful woman who, while losing her child, worried solely for her well-being in the after-life. worried only about her finding her way to Jesus.
there was no anger, no rage, no banging hands against cedar casket. there was just the empty womb of a mother who’d given birth to an angel.
oh, that we might all help our children find their way to Jesus…