I just found out that my very best friend from college lost his 3rd child at the end of last month. We live far from each other, so don't speak very often, and it was another mutual friend of ours who called to tell me the bad news. I have yet to speak with him about it directly, but even so, I sat in my office at work and shed a few private tears for him. My wife and I have never lost a child, and hope to never do so, but we can imagine that this type of loss must cause the worst possible form of grief. Their baby was only a few months old.
For me, the only thing that would make this kind of a loss bearable is my understanding about the afterlife. I know that families can be eternal. The truest joys in life are gained by those relationships that form within a family. Family relationships do not have to end with this life, as so many people claim, but rather they can endure.
My friend has this same understanding, and I know it gives him comfort, but even so, the loss came suddenly and there is still mourning to be done. I mourn with him.