Loss has been weighing on me heavily. I know loss is a part of life. I know it is something we have to learn to accept. Sometimes it takes grandparents, and we can be sad, but we can also celebrate and appreciate a life fully-lived.
But sometimes, loss decides we are becoming too complacent. Instead of taking those whose time we know is near, it hits us with a sucker-punch to the gut. It takes a child too soon.
The community in which I work has been dealt too many of these sucker punches lately:
A cherub-faced little boy struck down by an insidious cancer, succumbing on Thanksgiving Day. A boy who the community rallied for, prayed for, and in the end, cried for.
A young couple, graduates of our community school, buried their 4-month old baby this week.
And today the promising future of a bright, energetic junior boy was cut short in a car accident.
How does a community come to terms with this kind of loss? How do we comfort parents who, in a perfect world, should still have their children in their arms, should still be looking forward to birthday parties and cheering at sporting events and graduations? How do we continue to find the joy in life when it has been ripped so perfectly away from our friends and neighbors?
In this community, as in many communities, the people come together. They raise money. They fight for cures. They pray. They support. They console. They remember.