Thursday, March 23, 2006

Life In Perspective

I just returned from a condolence call to parents of a 4-month old baby boy, who died Tuesday evening, apparently from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The walls of the family apartment still displayed mementos of their son's birth just four months before. They have a seven-year old son, and either in school or in a home project, he had made a paper vest, on which was painted, "Wish me Mazal Tov [congratulations], I am a Big Brother." On another wall was a poster with the outline of a baby and a baby diaper glued to it, on which was also written "Mazel Tov." The funeral had been this afternoon, and I don't think that the parents yet had the heart to remove the memories of their recent joy, too soon turned to tears of anguish. Several times I found myself close to weeping openly, and later, when I related the scene to my wife, I did cry.

Both the Hedgehog and I live and actively participate in religious communities that exemplify the values of family and community. When caught up in busy and rewarding careers, or just the reactive posture of everyday life, we sometimes forget what is truly important. A tragedy such as the death of a child forces one to appreciate what one has, and what can be so easily forever lost. At the same time, while we would always prefer to share in the joyous events in the lives of our friends and neighbors, it is precisely times of sadness and loss that bring into sharp focus the redemptive strength of religious communal life, as its members rally to support a grieving family. Nonetheless, one can only say, God protect us from such tragedy.


Anonymous DL said...

Beautifully written

There is tradegy down here but joy in heaven that an innocent soul has joined them. 

Posted by DL

Friday, March 24, 2006 2:44:00 AM  
Anonymous GM Roper said...

This post broke my heart. But I wouldn't have NOT  read it for anything. Thank you for putting it up. 

Posted by GM Roper

Friday, March 24, 2006 4:07:00 AM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

Amen and amen, Ralph. My heart and prayers go out to your friends.


Posted by The Hedgehog

Friday, March 24, 2006 7:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Peggy said...

The family is in my prayers. I also know this loss, of a child very much loved.  

Posted by Peggy

Saturday, March 25, 2006 12:30:00 AM  

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