Dying Alone

28 Jul

For some, the thought of dying is their greatest fear.  For others, it is the thought of dying alone.  It is true that a Redemption Promise for a life to come gives comfort to those struggling with such fears.  Enter faith and hope… but there is another fear where faith and hope struggle to provide comfort.  It is the fear of not dying alone.  When there is no safety net for those left behind, when they are too young to provide for themselves.  If one could not see hope for the survivor’s well-being after one is gone; there is a new kind of fear.  I have witnessed this kind of fear here and it is not an uncommon experience.

I had never even imagined this reality while living in America.  Even when I had young children and the occasional anxiety came about leaving babies behind, there was the backdrop of knowing that family would be the safety net.  In honesty, most of my anxiety then, centered on what I would miss.  I had not even heard of young children attempting to survive on the street alone.    Now I realize the false comfort of the days of that naiveté.  I have seen the children on the street.

Momma is lying on a grass mat covered with some blankets.  Under the blankets is a bed of rocks to elevate her death bed off the mud floor.  She has HIV contacted from her husband who is already dead.  Her youngest son, five, (black hair only is visible) is lying beside her.  Her eight year old daughter is sitting next.  The daughter’s smile utters, “I do not comprehend what life has in store for me.”  An aged grandmother (not visible) had a dream that her daughter’s life was in danger and traveled to Addis from the countryside.  She arrived in time and somehow found this hovel at the end of a muddy trail along the river in this out of the way place.  Providing grandma has health and strength these particular children do have a hope.  Many others…grandma will not arrive.  Hanna, seen holding the cell phone, from LSM’s partner, Children’s Heaven, is in the picture also, literally and figuratively, sharing hope with this little girls heart.    

2 Responses to “Dying Alone”

  1. Ed Schwartz July 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    The heart-wrenching reality of life outside our realm is so difficult to imagine. Reading your story this morning means that my day will be less comfortable. Thanks for sharing the things that God sees a billion times a day.

  2. sarah f July 29, 2012 at 3:51 am #

    Amen, Ed.

    Wow. Please continue sharing stories like this…I just have NO. IDEA.

    Love and Blessings,

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