I have two children. And in a life full of uncertainty, it’s hard to remember they will inevitably leave, somehow, someway. In this heart-shattering essay written for the New York Times, writer Jayson Greene shared a story about the death of his daughter — little two-year-old, Greta. The essay serves as a reminder to hug your loved ones close — not just your children, but your friends, your parents, your significant other. Everyone should read it in its entirety. Soak in it, and—whether you have children or not— walk away with a newfound gratitude for the life you live, and the life around you as there’s no guarantee when it will end.
The author goes on to say Greta underwent emergency brain surgery. She was declared brain-dead. He and his wife donated her organs though, days, weeks, and months after her death would, understandably, torment them.
His powerful imagery of now having a second child — a son — has proven to be of the utmost challenge as he’s realizing how complicated the forever-grief process is.
The comparisons of Greta was a baby seem to be an ever-present reminder that she is no longer there. He goes on to ask a question, I think, all parents have (or have had at some point) and it’s an important one.
A heart-breaking thought that a child — yours, mine, anyone’s — may not live. It makes me pause to consider this with my own children and honestly, I can’t bear the thought. The author does end on a positive note, though.
Our hearts are certainly with the family. You can read the full essay, “Children Don’t Always Live,” on the New York Times website.