I’ve been to a lot of funerals held in winter and I used to think the hardest thing in the world was to walk away after a winter graveside ceremony, bowed with grief, huddled in a coat against the wind and rain or snow. Though you knew your loved one couldn’t feel the cold it was just so hard to leave them there in the darkening light of a winter day.
I used to think that was the worst.
But yesterday, when a local family had to leave their young man behind in the cemetery, the sun was shining and the bright blue sky was filled with puffy white clouds. It was a perfect spring day.
And now I wonder. Maybe losing a young life in the midst of the hope that is spring is the worst.
Yesterday a family had to come to grips with a life ended way too soon. I don’t know them, or the young man gone, but I understand their shock. Accidents happen, but never to your family. Never to someone with an infant and a wife and loving parents and a huge extended family.
Never just as spring is blooming with promise.
How can someone just be gone when so much around us is bursting into life? How does a young wife with an infant son survive without the loving husband, the doting father, at her side?
How does a family walk away from a new grave, bowed with grief, when bright blue skies are smiling down? It just seems wrong. Certainly the sky should be crying too.
But this young wife is strong, and she has a strong family to help her. She has good friends to listen and provide support. They know that sometimes the road takes an unexpected turn; they know how to navigate grief. They’ve been there before.
She’ll be OK eventually. And her son will grow up surrounded by people who will tell him about his daddy. How he loved his family. How he will always be there in their hearts.
It takes family and friends to get through grief filled but beautiful spring days when life is bursting from every tree and shrub, every bulb and seed, but tears are hiding behind every eyelid.
May the beauty of spring moving on into summer give some comfort to a family whose hearts have been broken once again.
And may that tiny little boy know that he is truly loved.