Burying A Teenage Son

Two sixteen-year-old boys, best friends,
out driving around together one Saturday night,
just enjoying themselves, looking for fun, then -
a terrible wreck! What does it matter who was in the right?

Both boys receive severe trauma to the face and head,
which leaves one critically injured, the other dead.
For one…the hospital, the coroner for the other. What a shame!
Such a tragedy…to lose one’s life so early in life’s game.

One mother spends the next three days praying at the hospital.
“His face is so bruised and swollen it’s hard to tell he’s my son.
Lord, please let him live. Let him be all right. He is still my little
boy! I couldn’t endure it if he dies. My life too would be done.”

One mother spends the next three days grieving over her dead
son. Unbearable grief and pain. Medicated, on the verge of collapse,
she somehow gets through each day. Why him? Why not me instead?
Funeral details, expressions of sympathy - she’ll hold up perhaps.

The day of his funeral, the service merely one hour away,
this mother stands at the casket, overwhelmed. It’s all so odd -
such lovely flowers, such young, crying faces, burying her son this day.
One of his friends comes up, awkwardly nods, looks at her son, “Say,
when did Todd get his ears pierced?” “What? Never. OH, MY GOD!!”

Harry Edward Gilleland      08.09.02