- Suzana asked me as we were driving home from visiting a friend, who recently broke a rib and her hip in a car accident. Suzana wasn't mentioning the broken bones, though. She meant the death of a seventeen year old boy, a friend, the son of a good friend, and the brother of two younguer boys as well as an older sister: who was driving the car as it crashed and who was now home with some broken bones and a broken heart.
At times like these, a question from an eleven year old makes us stop wherever we are in our lives, and think back on what we believe, what we are doing here on Earth, and what we haven't done yet that we always wanted to do. And then we need to answer... we need to somehow make children understand what we're not sure we fully understand the meaninof it all, either. Last night when Suzana sked me that, I had to come to terms with reality and tell her the truth: "I don't know". I really don't. I don't know why parents have to go through the pain of burying a child; I don't understand why a girl has to suffer with the guilt of "letting" her brother die; why did the thirteen year old have to be conscient durind the whole crash and witness his brother pass away... I don't really grasp the strength and faith of a mother that tells me, "I thak God it was only one, the way I saw the car later, it was a miracle that I din't loose all four of them".
I don't deal well with death, even though I know it's part of life. I'm struggling... I remember his smiling face, his energetic spirit, his contagious laugh... and then I remember his cold, deformed body in a white coffin. I close my eyes and see his girlfriend sobbing... the bishop choking on his words when he spoke at the funeral... the hundreds of people that came to say good bye, the tears, the hugs, friends comforting friends... I still hear dozen of young people singing "called to serve" as the body was carried away to a grave... I see tears swealling up in my daughter's eyes, and then a big sob that seems neverending...
So, after the first answer to her question, "I don't know", I have to tell Suzana what I DO know. I know that God lives, that He guides us, and He knows what's best for us, even when that sounds ridiculous, loosing someone cannot in any way be what's best for us... but still I know it, and I know he loves us, he knows us individually, and cares for us like no one is this world has the cappacity to. I know that in a world of uncertainty and pain, Jesus Christ is our beacon, our strength, our rock. I also know that even though heavenly Father is omnipotent, he can never take our freedom to act, and that is what causes so many hurt in the world... and I also know that pain is necessary so we can fully understand happiness, that God has a plan that we can't see, and at times like this, not compreend, but we do not need to understand. At times like these, Faith has to be found in our hearts and minds, and Faith allows us to carry on. Faith takes control and all we trully need to know, is that Heavenly Father loves His children, and that is sufficient. (1 Nephi 11:17)
Tiago, we miss you kid. You are loved.