Today my 14 year old son is going to his first funeral. This is a part of growing up and dealing with the more difficult aspects of reality, so I am fine with it. However, no matter how "natural" and "real" death may be, the death of a child before a parent is just not right. Kamron is going to the funeral of his friend's sister, who died unexpectedly at 24. This family has been wonderful to Kam, and he really wants to be there for his friend and show his support, but there is this small part of me that is aching at the thought of him exposed to this cruel and unexplainable "aspect of reality". As I was talking to him this morning about what he can expect, I told him that the hardest part of going to a funeral is not thinking about the person who passed, but seeing the overwhelming pain and sadness left behind in those who loved them the most. I told him to be prepared for that, because I can think of no greater heartache than that of a parent who has lost a child. I have known this sadness almost my entire life...secondhand of course. I remember my grandma telling me at a very young age that when my mother died it changed her forever. Again, in high school when a very close friend's brother died, I watched their mother change before my eyes...almost disappearing inside herself. Everyday is a struggle for someone who has lost a child, because you have to find reasons to stay alive when all you really want to do is be with your baby. It is a cruel existance if you ask me, and the people who are living it, and enduring that pain everyday, are stronger than the rest of us could ever even hope to be.
RIP Aubri Jo Chance and many prayers to the Bilyeu/Chance families.