Losing one family member unexpectedly is hard enough. One Brooklyn, NY, family has lost two young children in the last five years. This week, the Ganzfried family laid their 9-year-old son to rest just five years after the accidental drowning of his younger brother. Of course, this family isn’t the first to suffer such tragedy. Many have suffered much worse. But it does lead one to ponder how these families cope with such tragedy.
As a father of four young boys, losing a child is one of my greatest fears. I am a devout Christian and believe that my children would be fine. I worry about my own soul more than theirs. And as a Latter-day Saint, I believe our family bonds cannot be broken by death. But I still dread the thought of going through life without these little people I have come to call my TV-watching buddies, game-playing buddies, exercise buddies, and best friends. I live and work to see them outlive me, have their own family, and live a full life. It is the loneliness of not seeing them or hearing their voices that frightens me most.
So when I hear stories like this one from Brooklyn, it makes me wonder how these families cope. The Ganzfried family cites their faith in God as their main source of comfort. Other families find a cause to advocate; they are galvanized into crusaders. Still others don’t cope at all, but carry the sadness and guilt the rest of their days.
I have lost close friends, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. I hope I never have to experience losing a child or my wife. Ultimately, I am a selfish man. These people are the light of my life and I cling to them as such. Here’s hoping I never have to know life without them.