There are some events that should never occur; some objects that should never be needed. A tiny casket on frozen earth is one of those events and one of those objects. Today in this small town there was a great deal of mourning. Christmas, for many in this community, was preceded by a great tragedy, the loss of a life before it had even begun. Due just after Christmas, this little infant was taken before anyone had the opportunity to meet him. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and loss felt by this strong woman, as she was told at her last appointment that no heartbeat could be found. That this gift she had felt for so long would not be entering her life as expected. I have never been to a service for an infant. I never anticipated the emotion and sadness that awaited. Looking on helplessly as a mother held her baby, wrapped in blankets and love. She wept almost silently cradling him in her arms. Watching her say goodbye and carefully set him into the small casket. I cannot fathom the agony of that separation.
As the solemn procession moved to take him to his earthly resting place, there was so much love there. The program was beautiful. Family members read a poem and played a touching arrangement of music. Then a letter was read written from mother to child, expressing love and gratitude for him. The final words offered spoke of compassion and service. But more importantly, they spoke of believing. Believing in something greater than ourselves. Believing in family and undying love for one another. He spoke of believing in hope and faith and courage. His words were laced with power and comfort. As the multitude of loved ones looked on, it was not despair that they witnessed today, it was hope. Washington Irving once described, "There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.” All the tears shed today remain as a testament to the unspeakable love that emanated from this small town. That the loss of one, was the loss of all. But that the love of all, was directed for that one.