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Are You There God? It's Me...

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Winter's momlogic: The death of a little girl I don't even know got me thinking.

When I heard about the tragic accident that killed gospel singer Steven Curtis Chapman's 5-year-old daughter, I was speechless. My heart not only went out to the family, but it also made me think about how I would do if faced with the same situation.

While the most "spiritual" of us would like to think that we would trust that "all things work out for a reason," and "it is not permitted for us to know why things happen," I have to admit that I don't think I would respond positively. I would probably be tempted to curse God, or at least ask "why?" Maybe Steven is being hit with those thoughts right now.

I read my Bible daily, pray for the needy and try to do the right thing. However, I don't think anything could prepare me for the tragic death of my child. When something like that happens, whether Buddhist, Muslim, Christian or atheist, we all become the same. We would all have those silent questions that never get answered, wishes to turn back time (if I would have just looked a half a second earlier, if I wouldn't have given my son the keys, what if I would've kept my kid in the house?), and realizations that no matter our regrets, our child is gone.

And in those times, tears just aren't enough.

next: Embracing Autism
5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Phil Bransom May 23, 2008, 8:27 PM

Dear momlogic,

You are right. Nothing can compare you for the death of a child. It isn’t natural. The child should bury the parent.

May 30, 2006, our 7 year old son was walking home from a neighbor’s house, two houses from ours. Douglas was the cautious one. Always wore a helmet, never crossed the street without asking etc.

Our neighbor was very aware of children playing on the street. He had two daughters under 7 and there was Douglas’ friend next to his house. He even parked his SUV backwards in his driveway as his house was below street level and he wanted to have the best view. Unfortunately, the front of his SUV was still substantially higher than a child’s height.

As he was moving his SUV to do yard work, our son was returning home on the sidewalk. As the neighbor pulled out, he hit and dragged our son into the street where my wife who was an RN would see him as she came to greet him. All of her and the other EMT efforts were to no avail and he would die on the street from head injuries. Our two oldest daughters would reach the house too late and had to experience the loss of their brother on the street.

I was out of town on a business trip 3 time zones away when I got the call close to midnite. I would also hear they had stopped working on my son over the phone. There were no flights available until the next morning.

There is no way to post all that has transpired over the last 2 years. The two year anniversary is this next week.

What I can say is we immediately chose not to go down the path of guilt. What if this, what if that. Those things were out of our control. Guilt is like a cancer. If not removed, it will grow and grow. Grief on the other hand is natural. While we had many questions for God, there were many evidences of a much greater plan.

Without faith, family and friends, our family could never have survived. The neighbor who hit our son will never be the same either. I have met with him often for coffee and we try to call each other monthly. The Chapman’s son is going to need a love and care beyond comprehension. He will need to eventually see a greater plan for the young life of Maria.

Thank you for this post and making other’s aware of this tragedy that happens weekly across the country. Vist for more information on how this tragedy can be minimized.


Pat May 24, 2008, 9:58 PM

Thank you for telling your story. Thank you for your faith.

Tammy June 1, 2008, 7:57 PM

You are right; nothing prepares you for that shock. 18 years later, I still deal with stuff. My daughter would be graduating and starting life on her own—I am ok for the most part-but part of you never gets over the dreams that die with them.

Butterfly6 July 17, 2008, 12:55 PM

In 2003 i was the driver in a car accident were my 4 children and my self would be severely hit on the freeway, my son side of the van was hit the hardest and his seatbelt would come of him making him fly out the window he was seated in, after our van spinning for what seem eternity our van came to a complete stop in whcih we were facing on coming traffic. hearing my children crying and looking back to there seats and not seeing my son Randy in his seat, looking forward on to the freeway pavement almost 75 yards my son of 7 years old laying on the freeway, telling my oldest daughter to stay in the van and me running to my son was the longest run ever! i felt i would never get to him.. The cars had completely stoped when the 3 cars crashed that prevented any cars form hitting my son. But he suffered head trauma, and lasted 3 days in the hospital in which he died! After we discovered that the van we had just bought 6 months ago was in a severe crash and was reconstructed and did not say it was salvaged car, it had a defaulted seatbelt, but no money or lawsuit or anything can make up for the lost of our son… Especially what we had to see for our own eyes… your right every one has to deal with death some how or a other but we need that love and support because were all hurt the same especially when it comes to loosing a child!

Suzanne Eller September 6, 2008, 3:56 PM

Thank you for this thoughtful post.

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