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« Aidan Martin Crane, October 18, 1991 - March 19, 2006 | Main | People Are Good »

March 20, 2006


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In the last few years, I have seen my mother die unexpectedly; a niece die before her forth month of life; however, the greatest grief is felt when a parent loses a child.
I wish I could offer you something greater than condolences. Our thoughts are with you.

Not being a parent myself, I truly can't fathom the level of sadness you must be feeling now. Yet, as you state, the pain of hurt is universal. As we each grow older, all of us will know the pain of losing loved ones we hold dear.

Like Tim, my mother has died. I know how excruciating that pain was and continues to be.

And while I agree with Chuang Tzu, in an ultimate sense, we do experience loss on the level of our personal human lives. It's the loss of no longer seeing a loved one's face, touching their hand, and communicating directly with them.

Our solace must come from truly understanding we are all manifestations of Tao and, in this way, nothing is ever born of its own and nothing ever dies of its own.

Aidan's essence remains part of the flow of the eternal river. He has merely moved downstream ahead of us. Each time we gaze into the water, he is part of the current and that current is what sustains and nutures us each day.

Please accept my heartfelt condolences ... and thanks. Your posts and your process and your courage are heartrending but also uplifting. You have taught me lessons that I hope can be carried into my own life. You will be in my thoughts.

I'm so very, very sorry, Sam. Your many stories about Aidan have made me feel like I knew him, and I'm here crying at the computer. Best of luck to you and your family.

I shared this with Trey Smith from "The Rambling Taoist" and he asked me to share it with you:

"An elderly lady passed away one day. Afterwards, her 9 year-old grandson was talking to her husband. 'Grandpa...why did grandma die?'

The old man thought for a while and then said, 'Come with me for a moment.' Entering the home's study, he pulled a pair of candles down from a shelf and set them on a plate. One of them, he left unaltered but the other, he cut away so that a large piece of wick was showing. He then lit the candles and asked his grandson, 'What do you see?'

The grandson looked at them and said, 'One candle's really bright and the other one's not.'

Nodding, with a soft grunt for emphasis, he then left the candles and went back to his chair in the den. His grandson followed him out. After a few minutes of sitting there quietly, the grandson could not resist and asked, 'Grandpa? Why did you do that?'

The grandfather said only this, 'Go check on the candles and tell me what you see.'

The grandson walked into the study and came back a few minutes later, still looking puzzled. He told his grandpa, 'One of them is really bright and one is not. The bright one has burned down more...'

Once again, the grandfather nodded with a soft grunt of acknowledgement. He resumed rocking slightly in his chair, saying nothing.

Again, after a few minutes, the boy could not resist and asked, "Grandpa? I still don't understand...I asked you why grandma died and you lit two candles...why did you do that?"

The grandfather again simply said, 'Go check on the candles and tell me what you see.'

The boy, looking unsure, walked into the study again. After several minutes, he came back looking as confused as ever.

He told his grandfather, 'The bright one's burned down a lot. The other one's still standing up really tall.' Once again, he got a nod and a soft grunt.

Yet again, the boy asked and was sent into the study. This time, he was a long time coming back. The grandfather was waiting patiently in his chair, resting and waiting. Suddenly his grandson walked back into the room, tears streaming down his face.

'She was a really bright candle, wasn't she, grandpa?'

The grandfather smiled, hugged his grandson, and simply said, 'She sure was."

RE: My story above...

That's a story I wrote off the cuff to help me cope a few years ago when a relative died. I hope you enjoy...

I'm so sorry to see this. I, too, very recently had to write and deliver a eulogy, for my father. I hope my other comment didn't come at a bad time.

And I want to say it was very good of you to stand up for the doctors who worked on Aidan and this other girl you mentioned. It's far from an easy job, and a lot of people seem to forget that doctors simply aren't miracle workers, they're just people working with the best tools they can get and some knowledge and a little hope.

I hope that your mourning is as deep as you need it to be, and that it helps you move on. Take care out there.

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