I did it again. I went to google looking for answers to my questions. There is an explanation for everything out there, but whether or not I believe one over the other is up for debate.
I first watched a speech by a bereaved sibling at The Compassionate Friends conference in Orlando this week. It is an organization for people who have lost a child. It was an inspiring speech of how the death has ignited positive growth within individuals who embrace it. The overarching theme was that love lasts forever. The most impactful thing this young woman said was life is not measured by the number of years, worth or by what we do. It is simply the love we experience and how that love never goes away as it always in our hearts and connected to the memories of our loved ones. They live within our hearts so that they can continue living and experiencing everything we do. They only get the chance to experience through the eyes of so many others and not in a single, self-centred way we do in our bodies.
That speech led me to a Christian doctors' explanation of why God takes our children. It brought me comfort when he said life is a training ground, our world is about learning and growing and for some children their souls have already learned what takes some (slow learners) many many more years to learn. He used the term old souls, which is how so many who knew Xavier would describe him. He did seem to know and understand far beyond what you would ever have imagined a child should. It is their soul that chooses to "graduate" to Heaven with our Father. He went further to explain how our universes combine and our loved ones are not gone, but changed. They, like God, live among us in ways our conscious minds cannot fully comprehend.
In stark contrast, my next lesson was how God does give our kids cancer. He chooses who and uses pain and suffering for the greater good of others. It is not as a punishment to anyone, but rather a way to grow us, to give us opportunities to submit to Him and have eternal life with Him. She says it is our own perception that our children are not to die before us, but that was never a promise God made to us. We made up our own rules and judge His plan with our tiny view of the universe. Our children are His children and our role as parents is only temporary. How are we to question when or how he takes His children back to Him. Like any parent, we may make decisions for our children they do not like, but it's for the greater good. His decision to "take back" his creation we know as our children does not make sense to us nor do we like it, but it has a greater purpose beyond us.
Each explanation has its merit. Each one I believe speaks some truth. The latter is much harder to swallow, but yet makes sense that everything in our lives has been preplanned by our creator. However, it does not necessarily reflect a loving God in our small world view. I am not sure I can accept that noone dies too soon or wrongly, except that I believe everything happens for a reason. But what's missing is the influence of evil. What is evil if a murdered child is God's plan?
In searching my own soul, I see a growing intimacy with Jesus I had only scratched the surface of during Xavier's time on earth. I had faith, so why did God need to do this? Would I not have strengthened that relationship if Xavier hadn't died? How did He know I would grow closer to Him and not reject him as could quite easily be the case.
Although it is again the natural order of things for child to die, whose order is this? It is our own human belief that this is the way it is to be. No guarantee.