At the high school that my children have all attended there's a beautiful tradition they practice on graduation night. If a child in that graduating class passes away before graduation, on the chair where that child would have sat is placed a graduation cap and gown, along with a red rose, to remember and honor the ones we've lost.
I've been to many high school graduations at different schools and have never seen this bitter sweet tradition practiced at any school but this one. And I'm sad to say that as of today, my youngest child's graduation next year will have two empty chairs. Two young men within 2 months, have been taken too soon. Two families grief stricken. Many young people who were friends, hearts broken. A community shaken.
Two empty chairs.
I didn't know these young men but my children all did. My youngest has attended school with them since sixth grade. My best friend's son was close friends with both boys...and he is devastated.
Burying children seems so wrong to me. It seems to go against the natural order of how things should be. But I suppose that the natural order hasn't existed since Adam and Eve first sinned. Our world is rocked daily, sometimes hourly, with events that go against God's natural order.
Because Satan rules this world right now so the natural order has been suspended. Children die before their parents, evil seems to reign supreme, disasters of all kinds strike our planet with brutal intensity. Good has become a novelty to be reported on because it's so rare.
So I'm here, reporting something good that will come out of something tragic and heartbreaking. A community will rally together once more in the space of just a few weeks, to uplift and support a grief stricken family. We'll grieve together for another young life lost. We'll pray for peace and comfort for this precious family who has lost one of their young ones. We'll unite in the face of tragedy and create something beautiful in the aftermath...again. Because that's what we do here in Ballard County, Kentucky.
Two empty chairs to remember and celebrate the lives that were. Two empty chairs to let the families know we've not forgotten their children. Two empty chairs to remind us how very precious life is every single day.