Within the relatively short span of me serving in the death-care service industry, I’ve had the honour to be tasked to help organise several funerals of babies.
Sometimes it’s a miscarriage, other times an unfortunate illness that takes the life of a baby who has lived for only a couple of months.
Whatever the case, the death of a child so young is devastating. Such a death takes its toll mostly on parents who might then wonder what went wrong or why such an unfortunate event would happen in their family. Bystanders can never fully understand the full spectrum of emotions experienced by the parents. So in my opinion, the worse thing to say is “I understand what you’re going through” simply because the fact is that we don’t. Even after coordinating and seeing so many funerals, I know clearly well that each funeral is different and unique.
In the midst of grieving for the loss of a chid, it is important that parents continue to trust God and remember that trust comfort only comes at the foot of the cross.
In 2 Samuel 12, David’s son dies. David wept and fasted as he sought God on behalf of the child but his efforts seemed futile. We’d have thought that he would be angry with God for taking the life of his child away ultimately but he wasn’t. On the contrary, he stopped fasting and went back to doing his daily routines.
“But now he is dead. Why should i fast? Can i bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”
This particular verse can be used as a reminder to parents who are in pain that Ultimately their precious child has gone to heaven to reunite with Christ. If the parents remain steadfast in their faith, God is sure to reward them in time to come. Of course the child will not return alive but the parents can be assured that they would be going to their child when they die.
It is easy to lose hope and get angry at God during times like this and so it helps if friends are there to remind them that the omniscient and omnipresent God has good plans for us all and that it is precisely during sorrowful times like this that we draw even closer to God as we learn to depend on Him all over again, as we learn that our only Hope in this world is in Him and Him alone; that all things might fail except for Him.