A family in our ward lost their 4 1/2 month old son, Ty, on Wednesday to SIDS. I just wanted to take a minute to express some of my feelings about the situation and about his funeral.
This experience has been a really hard one for me. I don't know if that is due to me being a woman or because I am a mother. Maybe it hit home because Gracie is only 2 weeks older than Ty. Or maybe it is because of all of those things.
I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around the whole thing. I knew that Ty was okay and that they would someday be with him, but I wasn't really FEELING that that was the case. I was only imagining and feeling the grief and despair that I imagined they would be feeling.
But then I went to Ty's funeral.
It was so sad. I cried the whole time. The coffin was so tiny. But there was a beautiful spirit of comfort in that meeting. Erica and Dan (Ty's parents) gave his life sketch, which actually surprised me. I couldn't have thought that they would be able to do such a thing. They spoke of the comfort and strength that they had been receiving. They spoke of how he had made them better people and how they wanted now to live their lives to be worthy to be with him again someday. Dan told intimate details of his last night with Ty and how special it was to him. And the interesting thing was that they were comforting and strengthening all of us. We were there to support and love them, and they turned around and did the same thing for us.
Being at Ty's funeral has made me a better person. It has strengthened my testimony of many things. One, of the eternal nature of our Heavenly Father's plan. How blessed we are to be able to be with our loved ones again someday. Two, we can be comforted and strengthened even in our darkest hours. We can truly seek after and find relief from the pain. Three, the Relief Society really is an organization that provides relief to those in need. So many sisters from our ward banded together to make that funeral happen. The Elders helped, too, but the Relief Society really seemed to be the backbone behind it. I'm grateful for the caring, compassionate nature of woman and what that can mean in the lives of those in need. Four, I was reminded of the covenants we make at baptism - "to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort." I have never before mourned for someone else's sorrows the way I mourned for them. And I know that is Heavenly Father's way.
This experience has been a hard one, and it really has had nothing to do with me. My heart brakes for Dan and Erica as they will be faced with the reality of Ty's death every day for the rest of their lives. And after hearing their thoughts yesterday, I feel peace in knowing that they will be okay. I pray for their continued comfort and strength.