Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Tragedies involving children occur every single day.  We hear the reports and we give ourselves a brief moment to grieve the anguish of a fellow parent, before continuing our day with our own beloved children.

These events prove to us that there is no fairness in life.  Some of us hold tight to a belief in a higher power, trusting that our families will be untouched by the more gruesome side of our existence.  Some of us hover diligently, hoping that we can save our children ourselves if we just try hard enough.  Others adopt a "what I don't think about can't happen" kind of attitude, assuming that the rules of nature don't apply to us.

It doesn't matter what your strategy is.  Children suffer.  They suffer at the hands of pedophiles and rapists.  They suffer kidnappings and murders.  They suffer emotional and physical abuse from the very people entrusted to protect them, and these children are the lucky ones.  There are less fortunate children, all around the world, that are left to die from starvation and preventable disease.

These are things that I cannot spend much time contemplating.  I do my best to avoid the news if a child is involved.  I scroll over social media articles that relay those kinds of facts.  I opt out of conversations that are focused on the tragic details.

Then I hover.  That's my strategy of choice.  I am vigilant about all things regarding my son.  I warn him about the dangers that surround him.  We have lengthy talks about things that are really far too adult for his comprehension.  I drill him on safety measures, every chance I get, and I hope that it will be enough.

What I don't do is pray.  Not anymore.

I do envy people that have faith.  Mine has been irrevocably shattered, but I do miss the days when I could pray about something and feel at peace.  I miss turning my worries over to someone else.  I totally understand the appeal in believing all things happen for a reason.  I lived a good part of my life, believing just that.

I now know the pain and bewilderment that is caused by the assumption that prayer changes everything.  I know how infuriating it can be to be told your circumstances are the result of your sin.  I have stood accused of not having enough faith to be cured of illness.

I cannot, for one second, imagine the pain of a parent grieving their child.  I can't fathom someone telling me that my child is gone for a "higher purpose".   Let's don't pretend that there is ANY good reason for a child to die.  EVER.

Please understand, I am not criticizing those of you that believe in god.  I am simply pointing out the cruelty of claiming that your child has been spared something tragic because of god's intervention.  How do you think that makes a grieving parent feel?  Like they could have done more?  Believed more?  Prayed harder?  Been better?  Worse still, that something good would come out of it?  Something we are too simple to understand?

Forgive me, but I'm unwilling to think that way.  Tragedy is just that.  Tragic.

The only thing we can do is hold our children tight and have empathy for the parents that can no longer hold theirs.  If your are a praying parent, by all means pray, but please be sensitive to those who do not.  We love our children every bit as fiercely as you do.

I welcome your comments and would love to hear your thoughts.  Please keep the tone civil.

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