It wasn’t that long ago when I held his small little body in my arms.
His innocence and dependence on us to care for him was an overwhelming experience.
Suckling at his mother’s breast while gazing deeply into her eyes
Created a bond that brought tears into mine.
Watching him grow with all of his childhood objections to being watched and protected
In his search for independence and freedom,
Ignorant of the ways of the world and the threats that could take him from us
Gave way to the beautiful free spirit that was his.
His search for freedom and adventure began providing him the necessary experience of
Caring for himself and the need to take reasonable risks in his play
Instead of the wanton abandon he had portrayed earlier in his development.
As time wore on, as it should be, he began to move away from us
In addition, we could sense that the life track that he embraced so passionately
Would soon leave us feeling abandoned despite our quest for more closeness.
Nevertheless, this was the way of all life … the way of growth and independence.
Memories of our own childhoods rang clear in our minds recalling those same needs
And the look of sorrow ~ yet acceptance ~ on the parts of our parents ~
For this inevitable yet difficult part of the cycle of life.
But what of the child that never returns,
The child who deceased or has broken all ties with family?
What do our imaginations suggest as we picture our child
Returning home in a flag draped casket?
Or lying on a front stoop, a victim of a drive-by shooting or on an enemy battlefield.
Or the child stricken with a terminal disease that slowly wastes his body away
Granting parents only a very brief glimpse of his life for the time that they have with him.
Or the child who believes his anger could never be resolved,
Nor can he forgive what is perceived as being the ultimate wrongdoing,
Or the child who falls victim to the drug culture cutting off the need of any relationship
Thus vowing that he will never see his parents or siblings again?
The pain associated with the loss of a child can never be measured
Or adequately described with mere words.
Apart from the loss itself, there is an unwritten code that suggests that
The parent should always precede the child in death.
A code that is broken time-after-time, despite its presumed sacredness.
Nature’s life cycle or God’s will ~ however we choose to perceive it ~
Provides no assurances that the code will be upheld.
The only code that can universally be embraced is that
There is a time to be born and a time to die.
And we must accept the fact that, in effect,
Although we are dying from the time that we are born
I still cannot imagine the pain of losing a child.
(26 February 2014)
Both as a consultant and author, Charles Bonasera’s story-telling have motivated people to change patterns and resolve problems in their lives. All of his books contain valuable, practical lessons that people can easily apply to bettering and managing their lifestyles. He has also written a myriad of articles which can be found on his website at www.charlesmbonasera.com.