Sometimes life is so unfair. Last week a beautiful little Brisbane boy, Colby, lost his battle with leukemia, a battle he had been bravely fighting since the tender age of 2 years old.
Although I met Colby only a few times, I was deeply moved by his bravery and by the courage of his young mother facing up to the worst situation any mother could ever imagine.
I watched my own mother grapple with the impending loss of a child when I was just 13 and my young brother was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma of the knee, a relentless cancer that took his life within 12 months of the diagnosis.
His premature death at the age of 9 years tore a large hole into the tightly woven fabric of our lives and nothing was ever the same again.
I was so wrapped up in my own sense of loss and anger and the breakdown of my faith in a God who could allow the death of such an innocent child that I never fully understood what my mother went through at that time.
It was only later when I experienced the loss of my unborn second child at 30 weeks gestation, that I finally understood just a little of her anguish.
The loss of a child touches everyone, but no one more deeply and catastrophically than the mother who bore that child within her body, gave birth to him, and loved and nurtured him every moment of every day.
As a mother, each one of our children owns a part of our heart, a part that can never be replaced or repaired once they are gone and our heart is broken.
Being a mother, potentially the most joyful and fulfilling role a woman could ever have, must also be the saddest, loneliest and most devastatingly anguished position to be in when you are faced with your child’s death.
My heart goes out to all mothers who have experienced the loss of a precious child, whether through illness, accident, poverty, war or crime.
May you find some peace in the knowledge that your beloved child will live on in your heart always.
I believe that yellow was Colby’s favourite colour. Somehow it feels right that this sunny colour that shines with optimism, enlightenment and happiness should carry with it the promise of a warm and positive future.