Tuesday, June 18, 2013

When Children Die

From video Katelyn with Sarcoma

On my computer, a lot of times I download videos to watch later. Because of a slow download speed it is easier to download the whole video because it doesn't buffer in real time speed, it's too slow.

One of the videos I downloaded a month or more back was about a young girl, Katelyn, thirteen years old, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer. I really avoided watching the video for several weeks because I knew it would make me very sad. It was about this same time when I downloaded the video she passed away. She had been fighting it for sometime. There was another video of a little girl who was being abused very badly by her stepfather and finally killed by him, and that video made me cry so many times and for so long. I didn't want that to happen again.

I finally watched the video tonight. It was very sad and I came home and cried and reflected on some things. I wanted to raise a few points.

There is an unusual sorrow one feels when looking into the faces of the children like Katelyn who are transitioning from this life to the next. I thought of what could be the reason for why this child died or why others like her had to die? I feel as a Christian that there has to be a reason for everything. But I also think that we have to be able to accept that God has set things into motion and delivered us over to our own devices for a while until we see that we really do need Him. I hate to think this sort of thing happens for no reason at all, but I am open to that being a possibility.

I thought of children who are killed in car accidents. Most people hear of this sort of thing on the news and then go to the next story, hardly pausing but for a second, if at all, to remember the lives lost. But we answer these questions. We say the father/mother fell asleep at the wheel, they swerved to not hit a deer, or other reason. Or an oncoming driver moved into the other lane and it was he who killed the family. When another is at fault it seems even more tragic than the first case. The further blame is shifted from those involved, the more inexplicable it gets.

But when you get to cancer, there is no explanation for it. There is no one to blame, it is just a fact of nature none of us can come to terms with or can accept. There is no one asleep at the wheel to blame, no drunk driver. So it leaves you with a sort of sadness and grief that you wouldn't feel in another case. School shootings for example. Shootings happen every single day. Sometimes, it's 20 year olds, 40 year olds, seniors or children who are killed. Sometimes a baby is hit with a stray bullet. But we understand because of the evil in man's heart, because of gang signs and gang colors, nihilism, and hatred that these things are inevitable. Some of us have even struggled with that feeling ourselves when we were young, of having enemies out in the streets and not knowing if you don't get him if he gets you first. So we understand that.

But with cancer, we see the child continue through treatment, as their face starts to sink in, their skin turns pale, they lose their hair. We see them hang on and fight with everything they have, and we see them when they so desperately want peace, but we know there is no peace for them here but to move on. We are looking at a transition from life to death in real time. It's like we are watching something saying, "No, no!!!"
but it continues and does not stop, and we have no power to stop it. We sympathize with Death when it takes us at a time we did not expect, when it's merciful and abducts us immediately. We have no time to say goodbye and no one has time to notice. They hear about it on the news and then they get to the next story. If death stole from us an old man, our grandfather, or grandmother, it would be difficult but it would be
understandable, that our grandfather saw many good years, had a productive life, and lived much of his life a happy man. When a child is stolen by cancer, there is no mercy. It is drawn out, it is painful, it's a mockery, it doesn't steal the person swiftly and silently, but it sucks away at their very soul slowly and unbearably. This to me cannot be answered.

When those children die in a car accident, or in a drive by shooting, no one reflects on it. It doesn't touch a nation. It might cause a small local church to hold a memorial, but everyone else goes on and doesn't give it a second thought.

This girl, her life, is so incredibly touching to me. But what's also touching is that children die every single day we don't hear about and if we do hear about it no one gives it a second thought. When we sympathize with the death and chalk it up to everyday occurrence, wreck, violence, tornado, we forget about it. But this
 young girl, I can't for the life of me imagine what reason in all of the world could explain why she was taken.

But she is my hero and I know she is with the Father now and she will be reunited one day soon with everyone who cared about her.

Katelyn Norman


1 comment:

  1. I avoid funerals because the most wicked are sent to Heaven. Jesus said in John 14 that He was coming back to earth. If anyone went to Heaven after dying, there would be no need of a Resurrection!