In the West we have forgotten how the world devours children because mostly when our children die they are defined as subhuman by the law, and so we don’t count their lives when we stop their hearts from beating.
We have escaped an age when half the children born to us die before adulthood, and so we need not live—most of us—with the daily presence of death, prowling as it does like a wolf in tall grass.
When death comes for our children it is an anomaly, and our suffering, no matter how closely those who love us draw near, must be borne largely alone. Our friends grieve for us and in a sense with us, but most of them can’t know, thank God, what it is to grieve as us.
Until, that is, some hell-riddled boy brings guns to a school and blows holes through children whose coffins will be no bigger than your luggage. Until some cult-minded psychopath detonates a bomb that rips off their arms and legs just as easily as you’d shuck corn. Until what surely must feel like the hand of a vengeful God crushes them where they huddle screaming in grade school hallways. [Read more...]