When I Was A Child Death Scared Me
February 20, 2021

When I was a child, death scared me.  The thought of losing my parents was terrifying and I remember at 8 years old being inconsolable because I realized my mommy and daddy might die.  I’ve now buried both of them.   At 36, my mother.  At 46, my daddy.  

I’m an orphan. 

When I became a parent, death was even more terrifying.  The thought of losing either of my sons was such a shock to my system that I couldn’t allow myself to even consider it.   At 45, I buried my 22 year old firstborn son.  There isn’t a title for that. 

There’s widow.  There’s orphan.  But there’s nothing for a mother that rakes the dirt over her son’s remains. 

I’ve said goodbye to so many people that left such an indelible mark in life that it can only be measured by their loss.  Parents, grandparents, childhood friends, co-workers, and most notably my child.  

That much loss - that many goodbyes- changes you.  How can it not?

Admittedly there are some days that I sit wide-eyed unable to fully process how many loved ones are gone, but in this new life I’m surrounded by death.   I see it literally hourly.   Another son gone.   Another daughter gone.  Another parent forced to face the cruel reality before them.

Seeing the unbearable pain of others that mirrors the excruciating pain you have experienced is surreal.   Seeing young person after young person become a memory is unnatural.   They are supposed to watch their children grow up and like us gain wisdom with each passing year.   They are supposed to work hard, have a mortgage, take vacations,  watch their children become parents and know the wonder of holding a grandchild.   They are supposed to live long, happy lives and take care of us when we’re old.  But death. 

If I sound angry it’s because I am.  Death doesn’t scare me anymore.  It pisses me off.   It is a natural part of life - to live and to die - and we know that from an early age.  We know that we will stand at the gravesides of our grandparents, parents, aunts or uncles.   We know it will be sad, but it’s in the natural order of things for the generations before us to go Home before us.  That’s how it’s SUPPOSED to be.  Momma’s and Daddy’s standing over their child’s grave is not!! 

The number of parents burying their children is STAGGERING!  It’s heartbreaking, unfair, unnatural and NOT RIGHT!  Unless you have lost a child yourself, you are not aware of those astronomical numbers and I wouldn’t expect you to be.   You have your children right there in front of you to hug, kiss, ground, celebrate with and actively show your love, so why would you notice?  I didn’t.  If I heard of someone losing their child, I shuttered, embraced my boys, and moved on with a thankful heart that it wasn’t me.  But today I DO know and I am so angry that death has set its sights on our children.  

Do not, for one second, think that this anger is directed at God.   Oh no.  This type of burning anger - the kind of anger that literally makes me want to scream isn’t directed at Him.   Maybe from Him.

Drug overdoses - not His plan.  Don’t anyone dare make the assumption that only addicts overdose.  A 13 year old hasn’t had the chance to become an addict.   And let’s be clear, not all addicts overdose.   They DO recover and become part of the arsenal of weapons used to prevent overdose deaths. 

Suicides - not His plan.   Don’t anyone dare make the assumption that only the mentally ill commit suicide.  A 15 year old being bullied can’t see life beyond his 15th year.  And let’s be clear,  those living with a mental illness know the horrors of it and become part of the arsenal of weapons to prevent someone taking their lives. 

Those of us “in the loop” see these young people dying EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY.  Some of us have seen the urgent need to sound the alarm and have, as if pulled by a force that is far greater than us and our pain, plunged head first into a battle.  That battle has a battle cry that often times goes unheard.   Because death.  The fear of contemplating the loss of those most precious to them, has deafened many parents to our battle cry.  They think not me, not my child. 

I didn’t want to hear it either and I thought the same thing.  But here I am.   Hundreds of thousands of other parents didn’t want to hear it either, but I guarantee you they are reading this shaking their heads in agreement.  

You may or may not see the reports of CHILDREN who are the victims of predators whose intent is to get them hooked.   I do.  I know where to look. Google SNAPCHAT drugs.  You may or may not know the number of CHILDREN who overdose in the bathrooms of the very school YOUR child attends.  Ask around.  Your kids probably do. 

The numbers for overdose deaths and suicides have reached unprecedented highs because of COVID, and folks, those numbers include CHILDREN.  You HAVE to ask the questions.   You HAVE to know what they are doing.   You HAVE be “that” parent. 

You.  Have.  To. 

I promise you someone else talking to your kids about drugs, so you might as well.  Google synthetic fentanyl before you do.   See for yourself. 

I promise you your child’s mental health has been affected by COVID. Everyone’s has so why wouldn’t theirs?

You may be thinking I’ve completely lost it because after all, isn’t my message one of Hope?   I haven’t lost it and this message is about Hope.  

Hope that you will read this and regardless of whether you acknowledge it, you’re moved, if just out of curiosity, to fact checking this raving lunatic. 

Hope that because of this you will help change the course of the next generation because folks - this generation is being WIPED OUT.

Hope that others are moved to this place of anger and have no choice but to fight against death’s assault on our kids. 

Hope that no other mother or father or brother or sister or wife or girlfriend or child loses a piece of them. 

My ultimate Hope is in Him.  The One that has already won.  The One that pursues relentlessly. The One that battles continuously.  The One that put in me the warrior spirit that won’t back down.  That will not bow to death.  That will stand and fight shoulder to shoulder with those that know how powerful a weapon grief can truly be.  There I will stand until  I am called Home to see Him and those that are waiting. 

This battle belongs to all of us.   Please.  Pick up your armor.  Put it on..  Protect our children. 

And as always, if you have lost someone to overdose, or you or a loved one is currently struggling, I am only a message away.  

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