This week a little baby passed away in my ward. His name is Luke. I have never met him. Nor his mother. I have only met one of his three brothers. But I love them. And I am hurting for them. It must be an unfathomable pain my mind can't even pretend to imagine the experience to be. I have thought of them every single time I wake up in the morning, many moments during the day, and when I go to bed at night. I don't even know how to pray for a family suffering from such a loss. But I do. Even though it won't bring him back to them. Or make their pain go away.
I looked at the moon last night, it was a giant golden circle hovering low in the sky. I thought of Luke. And I wished he could send his Mommy and Daddy a message of comfort in addition to making his brothers giggle. Something to soothe their souls and let them know he's okay.
The moon tonight, again so bright and happy, reminds me of the process of The Plan of Salvation and how it's a bright spot in a dark sky. I am not fully certain how to comprehend or know, really, what happens to us at any age once we leave earth. But I know enough to trust it's important and grand and magnificent. It's the next chapter for Luke. One that has to be a much more important chapter he must be needed for immediately. Like the kids that leave regular class for accelerated learning. I was not one of them, but I always knew they were different and that they were doing something important according to the way they were made/ designed by our Heavenly Father. Maybe Luke was spiritually accelerated?
No matter what positive angle I try to turn it, the pain in my chest that a little baby is gone from its family on earth doesn't ease up. It's kind of impossible to find a positive collection of words for the seemingly injustice of how this must leave the family feeling.
I know this week as I have offered and watched everyone around this family (with eager hearts and hands) ready to help and support them I have seen Luke make us better. The way we all get to offer charitable hearts is what Christ wants us to do each day of our lives.
It's like their family, friends, ward members, strangers, and neighbors have all circled around this family- locking arms- and created a giant net to catch them and support them as they adjust to their new lives on earth with Luke waiting for them on the other side of the veil.
Russell M. Nelson has a nice article from the 1992 Ensign here. I like this part:
I remember vividly an experience I had as a passenger in a small two-propeller airplane. One of its engines suddenly burst open and caught on fire. The propeller of the flaming engine was starkly stilled. As we plummeted in a steep spiral dive toward the earth, I expected to die. Some of the passengers screamed in hysterical panic. Miraculously, the precipitous dive extinguished the flames. Then, by starting up the other engine, the pilot was able to stabilize the plane and bring us down safely.
Throughout that ordeal, though I “knew” death was coming, my paramount feeling was that I was not afraid to die. I remember a sense of returning home to meet ancestors for whom I had done temple work. I remember my deep sense of gratitude that my sweetheart and I had been sealed eternally to each other and to our children, born and reared in the covenant. I realized that our marriage in the temple was my most important accomplishment. Honors bestowed upon me by men could not approach the inner peace provided by sealings performed in the house of the Lord.