A couple hours of summer fun turned into an unimaginable tragedy for the Mansour family of Michigan last weekend when the tube carrying the three Mansour children was struck by a boat. Alex, 11, was pronounced dead at the hospital. Six-year-old Gabrielle died later. Only 10-year-old Adrianna remains. She is in critical condition.
As a mom who tubes with her own children at our family lake house almost every weekend, this story is particularly haunting. While I know it's just a freak accident, it's still beyond comprehension. Those poor parents. Losing one child is horrible, but two? My God.
Most people will say they are lucky to have one child left, and it's true. I think of that horrific Christmas fire two years ago where one mom lost all three of her daughters in one horrible night. She has no one left. Even still, having one doesn't lessen the pain.
As any parent of more than one child knows, every child is an individual, a puzzle piece that fits into the family perfectly. No matter how many pieces are left, that one piece will always be missing and the family will always be broken.
I think of that poor little girl waking up and knowing she lost her little sister and her big brother. I imagine the guilt and the grief that will follow her for her entire life. One minute she had a happy, big family. The next it was gone.
There is no replacement. Even if, like the Krim family in New York who lost their children Lulu and Leo when they were allegedly killed by the nanny, they opted for another pregnancy, it would never fix what is broken.
This poor family has to live with the grief that a beautiful, fun summer day turned life-alteringly tragic in the blink of an eye. We all know things like this can happen and they can happen to anyone. Still, no one wants to believe it. My heart aches for these parents. Any parent can imagine what their grief must be and I am sure it's 20 times worse than we can even fathom.
Let's hope they can find some comfort in the daughter they have left.
Do you think having more children is comforting after a horrific loss?
Image via PV KS/Flickr