This last Tuesday, the day after Labor Day, I went to help a family say goodbye to their son, who was miscarried at 5 months of term. This was my first graveside commitment service that I had done on my own (I had previously assisted at others). Since it was a graveside commital, there was no homily involved, and for that I was grateful, for what do you say to a mother or father who had lost their child before the child ever had a breath of life? They will never see that son grow up, become a man, live his own life. We often wonder what if? What if he would have been born? What would he have become? What path would he have followed?
My mother lost a daughter, who at 18 months, died of SIDS (back then they called it crib death), and my mom was about 6 months pregnant with me at the time. The doctor was worried for my heath because of the trauma that mom had suffered (ok, those of you who know me can insert stupid joke here). My mother in law lost two children, one from SIDS, the other from Leukemia (Javy was 11 at the time). I recall vividly Javy's illness and passing, they lived next door to us for many years and our oldest grew up with his uncle like they were brothers (being only 2 years apart). It is always harder to see a young boy or girl suffer a grevious illness, it is harder still on us who watch them succumb to that illness. I know in Javy's case, the family started to doubt even their faith. However, in my in law's situation, they doubted in a way that made their faith stronger, where they drew closer to God, closer to His Church and closer to one another in the family unit.
When we have life happen to us this way, we tend to doubt the meaning of life. We can looking at it in a number of ways. One way would be from the oldest book in our Sacred Scriptures, Job: The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21. God is in control. This is very pragmatic, in that we acknowledge God's hand in all things in that He is in control. However, we can also be comforted in our grief, in our doubt, by looking at what St. Paul has to say; 'What can separate us from the love of God?' Romans 8:35 and following...not even death can separate us from the love of God. God came down and through the power of the Holy Spirit of God was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, through Jesus' passion, death and resurrection, He leads us back to the Father, who loves us and created us for that love.
It was an honor to commend little Diego Anthony into God's hands and to give words of comfort to the parents and family there that eventhough this seems like the end (before it begins), it is not. There is more, and one day we will see all who have gone on before us to God. One day I will see and know Mardie Ann (my sister who died before I was born), one day we will see Luis Javier (my little brother in law). One day we will see my dad, my father in law, all those who died in the faith of the resurrection in Christ. And yes, one day we will see and know Diego Anthony, who died before he was born, but was a living soul from the moment of his conception. And the soul lives...FOREVER.