One year ago yesterday (May 5) we buried our baby boy, Jack Wesley Martin Glover. He was delivered premature after struggling but seemingly getting stronger in the womb over Trina's 6 week hospital stay in Vancouver. He lived outside Trina's womb for an hour and a half but his under developed lungs couldn't hold enough breath to sustain his little life. Trina got to touch him and talk to him as the doctors frantically tried to sustain his life. However, God's plan for Jack was not for length of days. His Heavenly Father and our Great Physician took him home. Another week in the hospital afterwards for Trina's recovery...the hardest week of all. Then home to be with our other four healthy children, who were very much missing their parents, and whose parents were aching to be with them.
Tim Bayly writes about parents and churches commemorating the lives of children who are stillborn or who die at a very young age. He points out that there are big differences with what people in the church believe ought to be done when children die in the womb or when they have lived only a short time. But he makes a good point that, perhaps especially in our culture of easy and common abortion, the church makes a strong statement when it commemorates the lives of these little ones. Still, he asks some important and difficult questions, some of which I don't think can be answered in a concrete, one-size-fits-all way.
Trina and I are thankful for loving family, friends and church family who cared for our children and supported our family during the difficult time from February to May of last year, and we are grateful for people's understanding and love in the weeks and months following. We are also very grateful to all who commemorated Jack's life with us at his funeral as well as to those who upheld us in prayer or were with us in spirit.
To many people, it is more natural or feels more appropriate to have either a private service or no service at all for a life of such short duration. But short as it was, Jack's life was a real life and he was woven together by God in his mother's womb no less than any 4 year old, or 14 year old or 84 year old. Jack's days were numbered by God, and the length of his life was ordained by the one who knows all things and works them all according to his glory and our good, though we may not understand his purposes...yet. And the primary value of a life is not in what a person accomplishes, or how long they live, or who they know or what they have. Rather it in the fact that they are made in the image of their Maker. That fact alone makes even the shortest life a valuable and precious thing.