Today I officiated at the funeral and burial of young man--just 27--who was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Here is what I want you to know, if you have children, you cannot allow yourself to imagine what that young man's parents are going though, will go through, can never forget.
My 37 years as a priest tells me this as powerfully as it tells me anything: you cannot allow yourself to imagine what it means to lose a child to death.
I have two children, both older than Nelson, who I helped bury today. And I am hard-wired not to be able to imagine what it would be like if either Mimi or Josh died. My mind and soul shuts down before I can begin to imagine that in any way.
In my 37 years as a priest one thing I have learned, over and over, too many times, is that there is nothing so full of pain and cognitive dissonance as the death of a child of yours.
Nothing to be said. Nothing to do--other than just be there as a non-anxious presence when people go through what you can't allow yourself to imagine.
If you pray, pray for Nelson and Jordie and their daughter Jen as they go through what you and I cannot allow ourselves to imagine.
No one, who has not lost a child to death, has any idea whatsoever what they are feeling or what this all means (or doesn't mean, since 'meaning' doesn't even apply.
Don't even try to imagine what it feels like to lose a child. That way lies madness.
But mourn with Nelson and Jordie. Mourning is what is appropriate.
And probably all we can do....Probably all we can do.....
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