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For Little Sherman - A Life So Brief

By Dr. Dick Wieder

What a heartrending pain is that pain felt on the death of a child. Young. Innocent. Not yet a partaker of dreams of life, Nothing so rips apart the parents as that horrid moment when they learn that their child no longer lives. How does one make sense out of this horrid reversal of the Natural process. For it is a reversal. It is a sudden jerk on time itself. In the macroscopic world time moves forward; the events within that time frame give birth to time itself and fol1ow in their progression . Orderly. Logically. People are born. Mature. Move into adulthood. Rear their children. And then pass away into time, leaving the world to their offspring.

Yet in the microscopic world of the quantum, time is different. It is no longer based on cyclic phenomena. Time becomes a linear point passageway from past to present. Present to past. A linear point extending from creation to whatever will become of the universe . And back again. Point particles move along this linear path in both directions. Randomly. Striking others, these quanta jostle back and forth in time. Seemingly oblivious to entropy, For they have been here since the beginning, And they will exist until the end of time. we reel back from this absurdity. It stuns us. It crumbles our faith in the reality of things. Time is reversed. In fact, it is irrelevant at this level . We thus come face to face with an event , or a fact if you will, that is totally nonsensical. It ignores all the rules. We cannot begin to comprehend it. We make every attempt to deny it. Yet, it is there. All our perceptions and conceptions are for nought. All our mathematics, our beloved rules, and even our common sense, give way to chaos in the end. And chaos cannot be defined. Or accepted.

Thus, the death of the child in the macroscopic world of life stuns us. A totally chaotic absurdity that shatters our faith in the order we so desperately need. We cry out for reason. For explanation. For something to restore order. We beseech our Creator to let this cup pass from us. And finally, we retreat to not our will, but Thy will be done. We are told that it is God's will. We are told sweet little stories of picking bouquets. We do not always pick older flowers. At times we pick buds or young blossoms, for they enhance the beauty of the bouquet. And so it is with God. Picking sometimes the youngest blossoms to adorn His heavenly retinue. I find this concept repugnant. Even nauseating. For the God I worship is no killer of children. He is the creator of a process that begat matter and matter begat Man. My God is the Order in the basic chaos. There are imperfections in the order, yes. But only because the created can never equal the creator. In this imperfect existence, life struggles to survive. At times it fails. And when that failure is the life of a child, my God weeps.

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