Wednesday, September 1, 2010
One year ago, an 8-year-old boy named Yuto departed this Earth quite suddenly and joined the angels up above. It happened in the early morning hours on the day he was supposed to go back to school. He left behind a school bag all packed and ready to go, and a countless number of families, friends, and community members devastated by the news.
During the past year, I've spent many hours questioning and challenging my understanding of life and death. One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn was that this happens to children much more often than we prefer to acknowledge. Hardly a day goes by without hearing about earthquakes, floods, fires, accidents, and medical complications that take young lives.
So, on this one-year-anniversary, rather than just memorializing Yuto, I want to ask you to remember all of the children whose lives were cut too short. And please pray for their parents, who are enduring the worst pain any parent could ever face. And please remember, too, that many of these children had siblings whose lives were turned upside down and who have had to learn such a serious lesson at an early age.
Also, please remember in your prayers, their grandparents who not only lost their precious grandchild, but must be a rock for their own children as they grieve. And please send your loving thoughts to their classmates and other friends who have suddenly lost their friend and must now come to terms with the concept of death.
I write this on behalf of the aunts, uncles, cousins, and other family members who are mourning the loss of a special member of their family, and are also worried about how their loved ones are coping. I feel the loss every single day, and it's almost astounding how such a small being had taken up such a large part of my heart.
Finally, if you are lucky enough to have children in your lives, please hug them often and tell them you love them. When it comes to death, there are no age limits. These children who left us too early could easily have been yours.
I know at first, this sounds morbid and hard to accept, but once you face it head on, life is actually more beautiful than you ever thought before. You realize that each moment is precious, and each living being has a glowing light within. And there's nothing, NOTHING, more amazing than the mere fact that we are alive here on this Earth.