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Saturday, January 24, 2009
Things People Do and Say
At his point, the funeral was over, and I think that Daniel would have been amused and pleased with many of the things said. I think he would also have been embarrassed to be the center of attention too. Oddly, we all felt that he somehow knew what was being said. The minister who did the service portion did a wonderful job. He had lost two brothers as a young person and we could all tell that he had thought a great deal about everything he had said. It was a personal testament to the Kingdom of Heaven with biblical references, not a dry, lazy, or hollow sermon.
People are funny. Some of the people I thought were close to us literally, in effect, abandoned us in this time. We just never heard from them after we notified them. Others flew across the country to be here at great personal expense and difficulty. Our neighbors out here in the country, were wonderful. Every one of them came by, some brought food, others a beautifully handwritten card. Some of the people from our internet groups were also terrific. The people at my job were very supportive and many where my husband works were the same. Many people don't know what to say when a family loses a young person. The fact is, there is not much you CAN say other than "I am so sorry for your loss" and "If there is anything I can do". Our daughter who went back to college after Thanksgiving responded, to one of them...."Yes, bring him back". The most inappropriate comments though came from ministers. "You have other children" one said. "Yes, but we are grieving the one we lost" I responded. One minister in my travels told me that Satan had taken our son, not God, because God couldn't possibly have needed him because we need God, he doesn't need us for anything. I told him that if Satan had taken Daniel then there were a myriad of ways that he could have done so, violently, horribly, and with lasting damage to our family. Instead, Daniel was called in a rapid, quiet way without suffering, after an absolutely perfect day. I told him that as of yet, Daniel's autopsy is clean, and that Dan seems to have had a pretty near supernatural passing, which sounds an awful lot like God to me. How strange that a minister would not wish to support a family in their belief that God had called their child for some reason, just as He had given him to them, and that there is purpose for everything God does.
As horrible as this whole event is, we know that God gave us this unusual, loving and brilliant person twelve years ago as a wonderful gift. As deeply saddened as I am, I know that God can call him back at any time. He belongs to God and was only on glorious rental to me. As much as we know this, it still hurts to know that God called him. Was I not doing something God wished me to be doing for him ? Why would He call him so swiftly ?
Most people have been kind and most incredible in this time. Others have said things that were nonsensical if not potentially destructive. The best thing of all came from one of Daniel's friends who hugged me tight at the funeral. I had been doing really well, until he hugged me, and with that tears filled my eyes, and I told him that he hugged just like Daniel. He told me that if ever I needed to feel a Daniel hug, I should just find him. Until we lost Dan, I was not fully aware of how many people Daniel knew and talked to. He was a 12 year old homeschooled student, who talked to everyone from congressmen, former leutenant governors, and governors wives, to children, the elderly and homeless people. Our greatest pain is not just for us, but that Earth has lost a person who may have done great good here, had he been allowed to stay.
I also know from Corinthians I, that Love Never Ends. This is something I did not completely understand until we lost Daniel. Love not ending does not simply mean time. It also means distance. The love we share with Daniel did not disappear or even change form when he passed. It simply stretches to meet him all the way from a lowly Earth to Heaven where I know he feels it. I know that Daniel knows how very much we love him, just as I know how much he loves us. I feel his love and concern and I am grateful to God for sending this beautiful person to us, even for just twelve years. We love you Daniel, and we always will.