Today I attended a funeral for an 18-year-old boy (man). He was killed when the truck he was driving lost control while trying to pass another vehicle on icy roads. He was hit broadside. I did not know him, but I have a 16-year-old son. A 16-year-old son who twice was in very precarious situations on the road. He could have easily been killed.
As I sat looking at the school gym full of people attending the funeral tears streamed down my cheeks. I felt a loss for the family, for the school, for the community. We lost one of our own. It doesn’t matter if I knew him personally, he knew people I know and if they are affected I am affected. That’s what community is.
I keep wondering, why him? Why did he die? Things could have turned out so differently in those few seconds. He could have survived. He could be home right now doing homework for classes tomorrow. He could be focusing on graduation and his upcoming life in the Army.
Why does his mom have to experience what no mother ever should? Why did it have to be so sudden? Why not a hospital stay so family and friends could have a chance to say good-bye?
I miss my kids when I don’t see them for a day or two. I can’t imagine not seeing them for the rest of my life. I can’t imagine having to go through their school locker, closet or bedroom only to be reminded of everything that is no longer a part of my life.
When I heard the news I came home and hugged my son who also had heard the news. I told him, “I don’t care if it sounds selfish, I’m so glad it wasn’t you.”
I imagine Mary watching her son Jesus carry a cross; bloody, tired and exhausted, people spitting on him, saying nasty things and kicking him. Can you imagine the motherly instinct Mary had to protect her son? But she knew it was God’s will that Jesus die for our salvation and anything she did would have gotten in the way of it. She simply had to watch and let it happen.
I pray that the mother who lost her son will run to Mary and weep in her arms. Mary knows what it feels like to lose a son. I pray God gives her and her family the strength Mary had. Without it, without the strength and love of God, I don’t know how people get through the tough times.