So death has struck closer to home recently then it has in the past. I have been fortunate in life to still have all my grandparents, both of my parents, and all of my close relatives. Till 2 days ago, death had stayed a very respectable distance away, just affecting friends of friends and the like. Yesterday though, I found out that a friend from Boy Scouts, his daughter passed away from SIDS in her sleep. There are many aspects to this passing that directly affect me.
One is that he is a year younger than I am. It is scary in the first place to imagine someone about my age already having a child. Almost seems foreign to me, but I know that is only because I am not accustomed to it due to most of the people I hang with are in college and are very careful not to have to deal with children until their studies are over. So young and already with a child, someone that you will care about more than anything else in the world. I can’t imagine already being in that position in my life. I know that I would handle the situation well if it were thrust upon me, but I don’t want to be in that situation for a while. That kind of responsibility can be so so scary.
Another aspect of the situation is that I grew up with this guy. Someone I spent a lot of time with is suddenly having to experience one of the greatest griefs a person could experience, having to bury your own child. I believe there are many movies that mention this greatest of griefs. There is a moment in Lord of the Rings where the King of Rohan says “A father shouldn’t ever have to bury their own son.” I completely agree with King Theoden!
Lastly, the death being Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is probably the worst part about it. From a parent’s point of view, you want to know that you did everything you could to try to keep your child, your greatest joy, alive. SIDS doesn’t really give you that opportunity. There isn’t anything you can do about it, and the child just passes away in their sleep. I am sure that it is rather devastating to see your child pass away, but it must be even worse knowing that there was NOTHING you could have done to change the situation.
Maybe someday I will find a way to change all of that, but it isn’t likely. Instead, I am just going to probably attend the burial of my friend’s child and hoe against everything that I am NEVER in the same situation at any point in my life.