As I read some of the recent posts to the Grieving Hearts group, it will always be true that no matter when a family loses a child they feel deep sadness for the inability to have seen that child grow beyond the years of their death.
It doesn’t matter whether they were an infant, a teenager, or a 42 year old. It only matters that for their family they won’t have the joy of seeing what they would have done with their life, all the experiences they would have had from that point on and the person they would have become later in life.
When an infant dies the entire cycle of life is considered. All the pleasure of raising that child, watching them grow into a fine young man or woman. Seeing them graduate high school and college. Perhaps seeing them marry and birth children of their own.
Yet when it’s a 42 or even 52 year old child to an older parent, that parent deals with all the additional years they would have had with their child. They also think of how they counted on their child to take care of them in the latter stages of their life.
Regardless of the number of missing years that a parent no longer has the privilege of experiencing, the pain is still great and the hole in the heart still remains. But over time, as grieving and anquish subside, there is a place where it turns to celebration and gratitude for one’s life, however long they happen to be with us.