Thursday, October 21, 2010


Yesterday I attended the funeral for a four month old.

It was a family from church - someone I knew from when I was a teenager in Wisconsin Rapids, in fact. At least, we knew each other's families. The father is about the same age as my brothers. He would have been somewhere around ten at the time. So we didn't actually know each other, but we know who each other was. His son was born right about the time that we moved to Green Bay this past summer. Then this last Saturday night they went out to celebrate the mother's birthday. The sitter went in to check on the baby some time after putting him down to bed and found him not breathing.

I haven't really attended many funerals. They've mostly been for people who were expecting it, though. Cancer, age. Whatever. Death wasn't a surprise. I've only ever been to funerals where most everyone there shared my religious beliefs. We have a faith in a loving God and a better place after this life. The funerals were somber, I guess, but not really sad affairs. Death was just the next step, you know?

A funeral for a baby is different. Everyone said the right things. God has a plan. The child was here for a purpose and brought love and happiness. There is so much we could learn even from his short time here. The family is eternal and some day they can be with their child again. Those are all things I believe and I'm glad they were said. But it was still a very, very sad service. It's just hard to lose a baby. For the whole community, but especially for the family. I just can't even imagine how hard it must be for them.


  1. Oh Jack, how very heartbreaking. I have seen friends who have lost babies and have tried to comfort them, all the while wondering how I would possibly be able to cope with the same loss. While we were living in Sandy, I was once asked to sing at a baby's funeral - one of the sweet little lullabies that I often sang to my own babies as I rocked them to sleep. I made the mistake of looking down at the mother's face while I was singing and could hardly make it through the song.

    My heart aches not only for the family who lost this child (Who is it? Could you get me names and addresses of the parents and grandparents?), but also to the baby sitter who was there when the baby died. Jessie was baby-sitting for Mary Ann Rogers' grandbabies one night when she was 15 or 16 (I'm pretty sure you were been on your mission) and the youngest baby (four-six months old) died while she was there. The Rogers family was so good to make sure Jess was not blaming herself, but it was a very hard time for her.

    Like you said, it's just hard to lose a baby....

  2. This makes me hurt. I cannot even come close to imagining the pain that a parent goes through when something like this happens. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it. I've spoken with other woman who lost their babies to SIDS, even 5-10 years ago. It's something they never get over. Like you said, it's not something you can plan for, which has to make it a million times harder. So sad.