This is All Souls’ Day, and I am thinking about the people in my life who have lost children in sudden and unexpected ways. I refer to them all by initials only to protect their privacy.
I remember M, beloved son of M, who died in a brief freak snow burst on an interstate highway on his way home from work. His car was rear ended by a truck and he died instantly. He and his mother had last had an argument, and there was no time on earth for a repair of the rupture.
I remember R and L, beloved son and daughter of P and R. R died in a one car crash at 19, the floor littered with empty beer cans. His sister L died one night of a heroin overdose, having battled addiction for twenty years. There was no time for repair of either relationship before their sudden deaths.
I remember J, beloved daughter of N and J, who died on the operating table from a “routine” operation. Only 13, she left her parents without a chance to say for the 1000th time how much they loved her.
Giving birth to a child changes us forever. Losing that child leaves a pain that, while sometimes eased, never departs. Let us never add to the pain by asking why they “aren’t over it by now.”