Several times over the past week, I've heard the comment "It takes a village to raise a child." This comment is often followed by the phrase, "And it takes a village to bury one." In this case, we buried two.
Tragedies come in all shapes and sizes. Some affect only a few people, others concern millions. This week as the news has been all about the wildfires in Southern California, a family in my community experienced a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. Two young children, twin boys, drowned in a bathtub. What comes to mind first when reading this? Where were the parents? Who would leave young children unattended in the bath? These common questions led to a number of negative blogs and reports, harsh comments that could only add to the unbearable agony of the parents and family members of these young boys.
I heard of the accident shortly after it happened. The news literally took my breath away. This couldn't be true. These precious little boys couldn't be gone. I couldn't fathom how the accident had occurred, but I did know that I didn't have the whole story. Knowing the parents, I couldn't imagine the boys being left unattended, especially in the bath. Perhaps the reason I couldn't imagine it was because the reality was so completely different from what the news had led people to believe.
The twins hadn't been left in the tub. They had gotten there all by themselves. How they bypassed several safety measures, we aren't sure. What I do know is that the outpouring of love this family has received has been simply overwhelming.
Their hearts are still broken. This new reality is one they don't want to live in, yet they have experienced so much love and kindness and their home is constantly filled to overflowing with people wanting to help. The parents want to celebrate the lives of their children who were taken so early from this life and so many people want to help them remember the good times.
Friends and family have traveled from all over the world. Neighbors and acquaintances have bonded together, each offering their unique talents to give the family as much support as possible. No one can bring their beloved twins back, but perhaps together family, friends, neighbors, and yes even our little village, can lift them up as they mourn their loss and learn to heal and hope again.