It was a dark and stormy evening. A young man who had recently received his license was on his way home from picking someone up. As he approached a red light, he pumped the brakes, they locked and the car continued right through the light.
There was a collision, people were hurt, a young child in another car was killed.
The young man driving was my grandfather.
I know he thought of this child often. I know he carried the pain of having caused the death of this child for the rest of his life. As I think back to discussions and time I spent with my grandfather, I can remember the painful expression I would see cross his face if we ever heard about or discussed any type of car accident. I remember seeing him wince as if he was physically in pain when we discussed a news article about all of the fatal car accidents caused by faulty tires back in 2000.
I think this moment drove him to spend the rest of his life seeking to empathize with those who had recently lost a loved one in death through his work as a funeral director. He sought to feel their pain, he hoped to feel what the family of that young child felt, and he searched for forgiveness by easing the pain of others as they faced the death of a loved one.
I now wonder if God graced my grandfather with an end to his search just before he died?
My young cousin, his granddaughter, was killed in a car accident on a dark and stormy evening about a year before my grandfather died. After his years of searching and empathizing with others, he finally felt what it was like for the family of that young child who had died so many years ago. He finally felt what it was like to look into the face of the mother of that child as he looked into the face of his own daughter as she wept for her child.
My sweet young cousin was the only one who was ready to go home. Maybe her death was a gift of grace to our grandfather?
God thank you for loving both of them so much!