Saturday, April 04, 2009


The Death of a Son

Returning home from work yesterday I received a piece of bad news I'd never wish on anyone. A friend's son, off in college, had been found dead in his burned out car in a remote area of Utah. A positive ID has not been made yet but the son has not been seen or heard from since about 6 hours before the incident. And, the car with the body in it was his.

I've gotten to know the family fairly well over the past 5 years. Nothing about this incident makes any sense. The son was very bright and, I believe, had received academic scholarships for college and attended Utah State University. His parents are caring and supportive people who spend a great deal of their lives involved in youth activities.

At this point, apparently no ruling has been made whether or not foul play was involved. Remember what a treasure your children are. Cherish them each day of your life.

Whenever parents have a son or daughter die, I am reminded of this story.
A rich man asked a Zen master to write something down that could encourage the prosperity of his family for years to come. It would be something that the family could cherish for generations. On a large piece of paper, the master wrote, "Father dies, son dies, grandson dies."

The rich man became angry when he saw the master's work. "I asked you to write something down that could bring happiness and prosperity to my family. Why do you give me something depressing like this?"

"If your son should die before you," the master answered, "this would bring unbearable grief to your family. If your grandson should die before your son, this also would bring great sorrow. If your family, generation after generation, disappears in the order I have described, it will be the natural course of life. This is true happiness and prosperity."
May our children out live us all.

You may have heard the sad news already, as reported here.

May he rest in peace, and his family remain in our prayers.
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