Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sadness & Hope

I've been contemplating this post for a few days and I'm not sure how to go about writing it.  I guess this time, less is more.  Last week the small child of a friend of mine drowned in a pool.  It was such shocking and tragic news- my first reaction was to turn off the Olympics and say a prayer.  Over the last 9 days since it occurred a lot has happened and little else has occupied my thoughts.  I was able to attend the viewing and the funeral and give the family a few words of love and encouragement.  My thoughts keep coming back to how grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father and Savior who provide us with an eternal perspective on life and death.  I feel like watching his family cope with Evan's death, and watching their extended family and members of the church support them with pure and true religion, has helped me understand how God can allow such tragedies to occur.  I believe that it is His goal to help us all return to live with Him. I truly believe that this little boy's death has inspired Christlike service out of so many people. His parents provide such a strong and stalwart example to those around them.  They seem to possess a spiritual "gift" (as one friend put it) of maintaining that eternal perspective.  The perspective that this life is but a moment, that Evan is with Heavenly Father and happy, and that they will be reunited with him again.  I don't believe that Heavenly Father wanted Evan to die.  But I am grateful that if we follow the Savior and believe what He teaches us, be it through the scriptures or the Holy Ghost, we can survive mortal tragedies and come out closer to what Heavenly Father wants us to be. 

At the funeral both Evan's mother and father spoke.  At the end of his talk his father encouraged all of those present to commit to being better mothers and fathers, friends and neighbors, etc.  In parenthood he encouraged us to focus on the blessings of everyday. Instead of being bitter or annoyed that our baby wakes us up at night, just focus on the gratitude  that he/she is even there to hold close.  Instead of feeling frustrated with a "strong-willed" child, be grateful that he has energy and enthusiasm for life. The list continues of things that go on in my house (at least) that test us.  Upon hearing his talk I have felt a new kind of gratitude for the time I have with my children.  I find more joy in the mundane tasks of motherhood and I think I have changed a little.  I am so grateful for this family and their example of bearing this trial so well.  I know their reward will be great in Heaven.