Saturday, February 14, 2009


I don't understand.

I don't understand why fathers and mothers are taken from children who need them. I don't understand why children must suffer and are taken from parents who love them. I don't understand.

Today, I attended the funeral of SB (no names since I don't have permission to share this story). He was the 46-year-old father of four and husband to a beautiful wife who loved and adored him. It was heart-breaking.

On Monday, members of our homeschool organization received an email saying one of our members, SB, had died unexpectedly. He was riding his bicycle to work, as I assume he did often, when he collapsed in the middle of the street. I think he had a heart attack, but I am not certain.

S and his wife K have four children ranging in age from 5-17. They are a homeschool family. S worked as an accountant for the city. They were active in the church. Their two older children compete on a swim team. They are good people and he was a good dad.

I don't understand why God took him. I know that God does not owe me an explanation. I know that we are not promised tomorrow. I know everything God does is good. But how can it be good to take fathers from children, husbands from wives?

I know we are supposed to be thankful for the years God gave S to his family and friends. I know we are to praise God for his sovereignty. The pastor today reminded us that S belonged to him (God) and not to us. I understand that.

But it still seems too much to bear. When K and the children walked in before the service today, I could not hold back my tears. My heart breaks for them. I believe K is strong and wise, and I believe she will be okay. I believe the children will work through this grief and continue to grow and prosper, making their mother proud and honoring their father's memory.

But it seems so wrong. Five-year-olds shouldn't have to attend their father's funeral. Seventeen-year-olds need their dads. Thirteen year old girls need dads. Eight-year-old boys, full of energy and intelligence, need to grow up with their dads. K needs and loves S. It's too sad.

I admit that I have faced very little personal tragedy in my life. I've dealt with divorce of parents and ALL the baggage that goes with it; I've dealt with personal and family trials, but nothing like this. However, before we met, Mark lost two children in a car accident. I cannot fathom the pain and sadness. He moved on because he had to. He had three other children to raise on his own. He could not fall apart. He treasures the memory of his oldest children. We speak of them often and keep pictures on the wall. He has recovered as much as possible. But I know it still hurts.

K will do what she has to do. But it breaks my heart that she has lost her partner. When two become one, what happens when one is taken away, especially suddenly, unexpectedly, and way too early? How does a body heal? How does a heart heal?

I don't understand.

I don't understand why Osama Bin Laden gets to live while really good people are taken. Why do men and women who murder their children, who neglect or abuse helpless little ones, get to continue eating and breathing while fathers who love their children, who provide for them, who lead them spiritually, who are good, are taken? How can that be good?

How can it be good that Mark lost his little ones? Why does God do that?

I love my Lord. I know my every breath comes from him. I know I am worthy of nothing but death and hell. I know that in biblical terms, none of us is good. I am not challenging God. I am just expressing my feelings with all honesty. I don't understand, and I am sad.

I admit that I am also scared. I am scared of what would happen to us if Mark were taken from us. It seems we just got started building our lives. (Four and a half years is such a short time.) I am scared of how we would make it financially, not to mention the incredible hurt and loss. I am scared of how I could continue to homeschool, which is so important to us. How would I raise the children and make important decisions? I am scared.

Oh, how it scares me to think of God taking me from my family. They need me. I know that. The older ones have already lost so much, and Elizabeth and Hope need their mother. Mark needs me.

Life is hard and uncertain. Oh, may I remember how short it can be, and learn to focus on the important things. May I be a better wife and mother. May I be a better friend, and better servant, a better Christian. May our family find a way to minister to K and her children.

I still don't understand. It still hurts. I cannot fathom what the coming days and months will be like for this family. How I pray that God will wrap his arms around them and comfort them as only he can. How I pray that God will provide financially such that their lives can continue in something of a normal fashion. I pray they can continue to homeschool, that the children can go to college, that they can continue to swim and do all the things they love. I pray that K finds joy and comfort, that her heart heals.

I also humbly pray that God will forgive my foolishness and help me to trust in him with all my heart and lean not into my own understanding. May I acknowledge him in all my ways, and may he direct my paths. May my children grow to do so as well.



Tiffany said...

My heart also breaks for this family. When my son died I learned not to ask "why?" because there is no answer this side of heaven that will be satisfactory. The question for me became "how?" - how to survive and go on. That one, God can and does answer by walking with us through those dark, dark days. Sometimes, it's such a long walk.

Mary said...