Avery

I’m at my allergist’s office a week ago Monday morning, waiting the requisite 30 minutes after my injection, when I see this story on the TV news about a 21-month-old boy “found dead in a Troy apartment Saturday night. Officials say… Avery James Cahn was left unattended by his caretaker, who police found and brought in for questioning, but was later released.”

My wife and I attended the funeral last Thursday. I go because I KNOW this child. Not well, to be sure, but I’ve seen his hands, not quite tall enough for the snack table, still manage to steal a handful of cookies after church. And I know his mom, again not well, but I’ve heard her read the morning Scripture or the prayers of the people or watched her usher in people; she joined the church not that long ago.

But mostly my wife and I go for our friend Mary, who is the paternal grandmother, a very good friend, who I called when I was on a long train ride to Charlotte, NC after my mom had a stroke last year. And I go for her son, the baby’s uncle, who is turning into a fine, and talented, young man.

The noon service is delayed a few minutes, with the organist continuing to vamp. Was it the difficulty of the day? Or was it the reporter from some local media organization who was turned away by police, as I later find out?

These two men from the funeral home wheel out a it-must-be-a-too-small casket and bring it to the front of the sanctuary.

I won’t/can’t go into the whole service, except to say it was nice, under the circumstances. But it was tough; as someone said, an old person dies, and one is burying the past. When a young person dies, one is burying the future.

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4 thoughts on “Avery

  1. I think the death of children is always tragic, regardless of how or why it happens, whether because of accident, illness, neglect or abuse, and for precisely the reason you mentioned—it’s burying the future. Thanks for sharing.

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