Monday, January 10, 2005

The loss of a child

The loss of a child

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Sunday, January 9, 2005 11:10 PM

The recent tragedy that has befallen the de Venecia family has affected us all. We can identify with the loss of a loved one because all of us have had that sad experience.

But for a parent to lose a son or daughter is perhaps the most difficult of all sufferings to bear. There is something about the loss of a child that strikes at the deepest recesses of the heart. The death of a young and vibrant innocent is too heavy to imagine.

When Emmy and I read about the tragic fire that took KC de Venecia, I whispered to my wife, “I cannot imagine what I would do, what I would feel, if this had happened to one of our daughters.”

Emmy’s reply was short but telling: “Our lives would never be the same again!”

How could it be? We parents expect our children to bury us. When we have to put a child of ours to rest, it tears our heart out. We die a thousand times. We think of how much better it would be if it were us to go instead of our little one. Better if it was us. We have lived and our days are numbered, but a child has only begun to live and to be taken away at such a young age seems to be so unfair. Small wonder that questions like “Where was God?” and “Why did He allow this to happen?” arise.

Children are dying all over the world in wars, famine and because of poverty. But they are faceless to us. Children with no names. When, however, it is the child of a well-known personality that suffers a tragic death, then it strikes us all. Young people suddenly feel vulnerable and think of their own mortality, something they rarely do. Parents look to their children and wonder, “What if it happened to our family?”

I am sure that many families are checking the exits in their homes and perhaps even reminding their loved ones of how to get out of the house in case of fire. Our helper, Nelia, came to us and, like a good fire marshal, gave us a rundown of the exit options in our home. She, too, felt the stress after reading the account of the tragedy,

Long after a child is laid to rest, the vacuum that the loss has created remains and can never seem to be filled. The child is ever present in spirit, in memories, in what might have been, in lost opportunities to live life to the fullest.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the de Venecia family. We mourn with them as we do with every parent who loses a child.

As a result of such a high-profile loss, you can be sure that parents all over the country are taking a closer look at their children and appreciating them even more than usual. Hopefully they will hug them more tightly and say ‘I love you’ with more feeling.

The loss of anyone’s child is a tragedy that should cause us to value life and our own kids even more. It should draw us even closer to our children and remind us about just how precious they are.


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