Everyone knows the world can be a difficult place. Everyone knows, somewhere in their souls, that someday they will die. When your parent dies, you bury their body. When your child dies, you bury your own heart.
Today, I bury my heart.
My son, Charles Curtis King, was only nine years old, but he was already incredible. He could make thirteen free throws in a row, with either hand. He helped his neighbors rake leaves in the fall and mow lawns in the summer, and he never asked them for a dime. He asked a lot of questions from his friends and his families because he was fascinated with the world. He read at an eight-grade level, and his ability to make a Harry Potter costume out of scraps honestly convinced me he was a wizard.
I am in awe of all that my son managed to be and do and accomplish in his short life. But it hollows me out to think about all that he could have done if he had had more years on this earth. He didn't have enough time to pen the novel he wanted to write about dinosaurs returning to Earth from Mars in spaceships, although I would have dearly loved to read it. He didn't have time to go to Disneyland like we promised him we would next year. He didn't have time to ever attend a school dance, or learn to play guitar, or have a first kiss, or buy the snowboard he had been saving up for three years to get.
Today we say goodbye to all of those dreams and all of those unspent years Charles never got to enjoy. But we also say goodbye to a boy who already was so many amazing things, who was so sweet and so considerate and so boisterously funny that it makes me wonder if he'll ever really be gone, or if he'll stay, burning here in this hole in our chests forever, to remind us of what we all could be.
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