I recently knelt beside my young son as he laid sobbing next to his beloved pet goat. My husband and I had just broken the news to 12-year-old Luke that his goat, Dudley, was likely not going to recover and would soon die.
My husband and I wept alongside our son as he laid nearby his goat in its final hours. Our tears were a result of love for our son and our son's tears were a result of love for a goat.
I watched Luke lay crying nose-to-nose with his goat, while I sat nearby feeling a deep pain in my heart because I could do nothing to help. At that moment I wished with all my might that I could take my young son's pain.
In a brief instant, I saw in my mind the Savior kneeling in the Garden of Gethsemane as he took upon himself the pains, sins and heartache of the world. Very briefly, I imagined Heavenly Father's pain as he watched on. I was overwhelmed at the heartache our Father in Heaven must have felt.
Very quickly, my mind returned to my young son experiencing the pains and hardships of life and death. Despite tears falling from all of our faces, I knew all would be well. I was touched by the simple and brief reminder I experienced that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is for all of us, even, or especially for a young heartbroken 12-year-old boy.
I could do nothing for my son to help ease the pain of losing his pet, but I was reminded in the tears and grief of that day, who could. It was, and still is, difficult to watch my son experience the loss of an important part of his life, but it has been a wonderful opportunity to remind my son about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the beauty and reality of the Resurrection.
My young son feeling the depths of love and loss are part of everyone's mortal experience, and he is no exception. I can't take away Luke's pain, but I can turn him toward the one who can.
A blessing indeed.
Tiffany is the mother of five children; 5 to 15. She loves the laundry five children generate, but could do without the sticky floors and dirty dishes.
Tiffany blogs at www.ourmostofthetimehappyfamily.blogspot.com