Ken and I went to the visiting hours yesterday, and while there, Yolande and I went to see the baby where he was laid out. Yes, he was tiny and still undeveloped, yet even in death he had a presence. Yolande asked me to say a prayer, and I was able to get through some words until I got to the phrase, "bless you," and then that was all I could continue to say. Tears were streaming down my face for this child I had never known.
In my 15 years of ministry I have never buried a child or a young adult. I have buried friends and family, parishioners I had come to love, and extended family of my flock who were strangers to me. I guess those are simply the cards I have been dealt. I suspect the day will come.
Today I am thinking about a life that will not mature, and the grief of parents whose dreams are shattered and whose hearts strain with loss at every breath.
Sleep, baby, sleep. In peace may you slumber.