Children Belong in the Future - Not in the Past

The day Shawn Jr died, I started praying a very specific prayer.  That prayer was that no parent I knew would outlive their child.  It is just too painful.  Parents are hard wired to love and protect their children.  So watching your child die seems to me to be the worst kind of pain.  I never want a parent I know personally (or any parent for that matter) to go through that pain.  

Here is the thing about death.  It is expected to be the last event of your life.  You are born, you are a baby, a toddler, a child, a kid, a teenager, a young adult, an adult, a mature adult, a retiree, a senior and then you die. Death is something that happens to old people.  When you consider death, you prepare yourself to lose people in your life that are older.  Certainly losing a grandparent is hard.  But it is expected.  Losing a parent is even harder.  But it is expected.  People older than you die.  I have even considered the possibility of losing Misty before I die.  Logically, I know that any of us can die at any moment.  But losing a child - that was something I never even considered. 

Our children are our future; our legacy.  Shawn Jr certainly was for me.  He often talked about getting married and having a son.  He would name him Trey (Shawn Helms III).  That was the plan and was his future (and, to some extent, mine as well).  

Children belong in the future - not in the past.  

The following is from a book I am reading called “Lament for a Son” by Nicholas Wolterstorff.  I was floored when I read this page.  This is exactly how I feel. 


  1. We are in the neighborhood. We too have buried a child too soon. Ours was a drowning accident, so we never got to say our goodbyes-however long and hard they would be. We never got to SHOW her how much we loved her during her time. I can't decide which way to loose a child is 'easier: suddenly as we did, or one day at a time as we watch helpless.' There is no 'easier' or better. They both SUCK, are horrible, and torment us with memories. The unbearable pain and sorrow DOES get softer with time. But you know what? I DONT WANT TO LOOSE THAT PAIN! That would mean that we have forgotten her. She has left a hole in our hearts and souls that will never heal. But we turned it into something positive. I teach swim lessons all summer long so that less parents will ever experience what you and we have gone through; what we CONTINUE to go through. My thoughts are with you.


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