Andrew was a great kid – really. He was fun to be around, he smiled all the time, never talked ill about anyone, always saw the positive side of life. So why did G-d take him from us? Why did G-d decide not to let our son live out his years on earth with us. Tyler as well – a great high school student who was taken way too early. And Mark and Kaitlyn, Jeffrey and Patrick, and so many more.
This is the ultimate question that every parents asks when they lose a child. Why did G-d choose to take my child and not the next one? Why did He not let my son live to be a ripe old man, live to let him see his children married, and live to enjoy his grandchildren? We see bad people, thieves, murderers, ungrateful people, users, wife-beaters, and they live their whole lives out, maybe some of it in jail, but they get the opportunity to live. They get to be alive for so many years. Any yet, our children do not. And all we want to know is why.
When they are taken, they leave such a void, they leave such pain and anguish behind. How can G-d watch the funeral of a child and then take another child. How can he see the mother of a 21 year old throw herself on her only son’s casket crying, and yet turn a blind eye and take another son from another mother. How can he watch the baby who lives only seven hours, held by his parents the whole time, read to, talked to, and then take that baby and move on. How does He do this time after time.
Was it my fault? Was it something I said or did some time that caused this? Did I upset him, or did I not live a good pious life, was I not enough of a mench, did I not give enough charity? Parents always ask that and dread that it was their fault.
To those parents who ask that, as well as myself, that is a question we can actually answer. No. And it took me, as well as many others, a while to come to that conclusion You are not being punished, you did not cause your child’s death by upsetting the Almighty. No matter what you said, what you thought, what you did or didn’t do, you didn’t cause it, you had no control over it. Even if I did something wrong, and G-d decided to punish me – He would have to look around and see the consequences of His action. If He were punishing a single person, then the collateral damage would not be so wide spread and devastating. He would have to see bubby and grandma, Andrew’s grandmothers, crying and grieving so hard every single day. He would have to see the pain that his cousins are in from losing such a happy part of their family. He would have to see his mother not being able to sleep at night, and crying whenever she thinks of her dear sweet son she held in her arms not so many years ago. How could G-d punish one person, and cause so much grief to others? Don’t blame yourself – as we have learned not to blame ourselves. It is a long hard road to travel to realize that and to understand that, but a road that we all must travel in order to be at peace with the question of Why.
The other answer to this is faith. I know Andrew is in a different place now. I don’t know where, I don’t know why, I know nothing of it. But I have faith that he is somewhere. He is with his loved one’s who passed before him. He is talking to poppy about the garden. He is talking to Keith about college. He is talking to my father telling him how his son turned out. I am sure he is arguing with Einstein about something he missed. But I know in my heart he is somewhere. I don’t know why I think this, but it is faith. It brings me peace, it brings us all peace.
If there was nothing, just a body that died, that my son was buried, and we put up a headstone one day and that is it, then it would hurt so much more. If he just died and nothing of his essence, nothing of his soul, nothing of his compassion moved on, then I would be devastated. But I know that is not the case. I know he moved on, he left his body, he left that dark hole in the ground and moved somewhere else. All that I taught him, all that he knew about helping others and all that was him had to end up somewhere, and he had to take that all with him. All I have is my faith that that has happened. As we all have that faith in anyone who has moved on. They have simply moved to another dimension, another level of consciousness, another place that we can not understand yet. But they are somewhere, and we can rest easy knowing that. We can live out the rest of our lives knowing that one day we will be with them again and we will hug them and talk to them again. One day we might understand more. And that brings us peace and enables us to let go. It enables us to talk about them, to relish in the lives they had, and to know we are okay.
You ask – why? I answer because we have the faith to let them go. We have the faith that they are somewhere and at that they are peace. That is all I can offer.
You ask – why mine? I can’t answer that. But I can tell you it was not your fault. There was nothing you could do to save them. There was nothing you did that caused them to pass. And that you have the faith and strength to believe that – truly believe that.
If you agree, if you do have the faith, if you are at peace, please leave a comment and let others know – it truly helps so many. If you know someone who blames themselves, please pass this on to them in the hopes it will help them.