December 29, 2011 (log)
Return to December 29, 2011 (log)
|I went to Zach's funeral today. He was the son of a co-worker, and died at the ripe young age of 278 days. Most of those were spent in the hospital. Zach underwent nine operations and probably spent less then one of his nine months at home. They played a montage of pictures and it seemed that in half of them the boy had some kind of tube inserted and there was some kind of life monitor in the background. Zach's life was short and interesting.
If you want to make an argument for rationing care, Zach's your centerpiece. I can't imagine what nine operations and 250 days of hospital care cost. More then my co-worker is likely to make in their lifetime. A million bucks? Who knows? But then I remember how excited Jim was when Zach got through each operation, and how hopeful they were that he'd one day come home. How much they wanted that baby and hoped he'd get through this and grow up to be someone special. How do you tell someone their child is a bad investment? How do you not come up with the money to try?
Jim and his wife are religious and attend a fundamentalist church. The service struck me as impersonal, with neither pastor sharing any personal observations of the boy, but how many anecdotes does a child create in a mere nine months? At least the service stressed separation and moving on, which struck me as appropriate. No one tried to attribute the boy's short life as "God's will". Quite the opposite. I'm not sure I believe in Heaven. But I think that ultimate home served a purpose in this context. Zach's life was a difficult one, with relatively few moments of joy. If there is a Heaven, he is in a better place, with time to grow and learn with people who love him. Heaven is a comforting thought, one that makes the loss easier to bear. I hope it helps.