by | May 24, 2003 | Great Commission, Witnessing

As I walked down the hall, I couldn’t help but notice the crowd of people gathered near the end of the aisle. It didn’t hit me as to why so many were standing outside the room, but as I got closer, I knew.

I had my hands full of stuffed animals. Someone yelled out, “She’s here,” but I didn’t think it was me they were talking about.

Suddenly a man walked up to me and said, “We need you in this room immediately.” I saw children in the hallway crying. I saw grown women and men crying, and then I knew. The crowd moved and made a path for me to walk into the room.

My first thought was, “This is an angel I’m looking at.” Golden blond hair streaming down the side of her face, eyes shut, the bed made her look much smaller than she actually was.

A man who was sitting in a chair broke out in a big sob and I knew, he was the father. I looked up and saw him put his arms around the woman next to him. She was softly crying.

Someone else walked up behind me and said, “She doesn’t have much time left, it’s cancer of the stomach.” My heart went out to the little girl and her parents. I knew their pain. I knew how their hearts were breaking. And I knew how their lives would be changed forever once they lost their precious little girl.

I felt at a loss for words. Yet, in my arms was a white angel teddy bear, and I knew, this couple needed an angel more than anyone in that room at that moment. I walked up to them and choking back my own words, I said, “I’ve got an angel for you.”

The father stood up and hugged me and said, “I know you’ve lost a child. They told us you’d be in the hospital today. We don’t know………can’t………..” and I replied, “I know.”

The mom stood and told me their little girl took sick just a few weeks back. She kept saying her stomach hurt. Only five years old and that little angel’s parents were told, “Your daughter has cancer, it’s aggressive, there is nothing we can do but make her comfortable.”

I bent over the bed to look at this beautiful child. Tears rolled down my own face, remembering my little angel who was the same age as this one. I looked up towards the ceiling and silently asked, “Why? Why do these young children have to suffer, have to lose their lives so young?” “Why do parents have to know this pain that I know? Why?”

When I go to Children’s Hospital and give away stuffed animals, I do it for all those who donate animals in memory of their child. I do it because I promised myself many years ago I would do anything I could to help another parent who has to suffer with the pain of losing a child. I do it for my own son. I do it because I love my child. Death has never taken away what my heart feels.

I left the floor the little five-year-old was on. I found out she died later that evening. For days I thought about her, and her parents. I thought about how many children I have met when I go from room to room to meet them and give them a stuffed animal. I’ve never forgotten any of them. Nor have I forgotten the parents.

I wish I could take their pain away. I wish I could promise them a better tomorrow. I wish I could bring their child back. But I can’t. I can only do what I do, which isn’t much. But I can let them know…..they are not alone. I can let them know there are others who have walked this road. I can let them know someone cares and understands. And maybe I can give them hope when I say, “I lost my child many years ago. I’ve survived, and one day you will be where I’m at, and you will reach out your hand and tug along another who is facing what you are now.”

Every eleven seconds, somewhere in this world, a child dies. Every eleven seconds, somewhere in this world, parents are dying inside. I can only pray for them and hope they know a stranger somewhere in this world cares.

Sharon Bryant 1946@bellsouth.net

About Me:

I am Sharon Bryant, 59 years old and reside in Alabama. I lost my child in 1977 when he was five and I write articles on bereavement often. I am a chocolate/candy maker and also a wood crafter and knitter. I am married to a wonderful man, and have two remaining children, a daughter 25, Amy, and a second son, Randy, age 22. My main goal in life is to help those who have lost a child. My website is: www.angelsremembered.tk