We all know this. But, sometimes we're reminded in ways we'd rather not be. This past Wednesday, I learned that a friend and former co-worker's son had been killed in a car accident. When my dad died, planning his funeral was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I can't imagine having to plan your child's funeral. Nor can I imagine how hard it will be to celebrate Christmas this year and in future years without him. We naturally expect to outlive our parents, but the sudden death of anyone, especially your child, is particularly hard; unimaginable as a friend said. He had a wife and three small children. We know God has a plan, but when things like this happen, it's hard to see that plan and we never truly understand it. And nothing anyone can say or do will make the hurt go away. A hurt I know will be with them for the rest of their lives.
This time of year, we naturally think about the excitement - Santa Claus, gifts for family and friends,decorating the tree, church activities... This year, I'm reminded that while most of us are celebrating, many families will be struggling with loss. And, there is a strange twist in all this for me - he has the same birthday as my brother (though a different year) and will be buried on my birthday.