My heart is continually being drawn to pray for Pete and Corinne K. and I ask my friends to pray, too. Two weeks ago Rachael, their 12 year-old, was struck by a car, suffering major head trauma (similar to shaken baby syndrome) and last night went to be with Jesus.
This family was (and still is) very good friends with my family when we lived in Utah. We went to the same church, Corinne was a doula at the birth of my first born, and although we haven't seen them for 6 years, we have stayed close. Corinne had 12 kids. She would not close her heart or womb to whatever blessing God would give her. Rachael was number 5 and looked and acted a lot like her mom. It is going to be a hard journey for this family.
Death of this sort (parent losing a child) is earth shattering. The experience is difficult to explain to those who've never gone through it. You start out in immediate grief, it numbs over for a season to allow for funeral arrangements and sympathy cards, but then the reality of loss sinks in and leaves you breathless with an ache that only God can soothe. And then there are the nights... I tell you the truth, if it wasn't for family near to carry the burden at it's heaviest moments and the knowledge of Jesus' great sacrifice on the cross buying us heaven, the sorrow would overtake us.
The other side of the grief and heart break is something amazing, though. That we are able to laugh again, that we allow ourselves to love our other children just as deeply, that we can forgive when it doesn't make sense-really it is a miracle. And a healing.