I really wrestled with whether or not to write this blog, but there's a little voice inside me saying, "You have to." - perhaps it's my angle son Aaron.
As we start a new work week, finish up those last minute shopping trips, and prepare for a Christmas with family and friends, I ask that you continue to pray for those who will be laying their loved ones to rest this week.
Tough times lie ahead for all those families.
Anyone who has ever lost a child will tell you, Christmas is one of the most difficult times of the year (birthdays being a close second, at least for me). Things will never, ever be the same.
It's the time of year when the magic of Santa can be seen in the eyes of every child, when excited kids are constantly looking under the tree to see if there's a package with their name on it, and when beautiful Christmas carols emanate from every church.
It's also the time of year when a parent who has lost a son or daughter is constantly reminded of things that their child loved so much.
Even simple things like Christmas tree ornaments or television specials remind me of my son Aaron - "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" was one of his favorites.
I sure do miss him.
This will be our third Christmas without Aaron.
Does it get any easier? I don't know - some say it does. It hasn't gotten any easier for me or my wife and daughter. Not a day goes by when I don't think about and miss Aaron terribly.
But I know he's with us. I know I have an "Angel on my shoulder."
Just this past weekend we attended college graduation for one of Aaron's best friends - and I know Aaron was there too. I could feel him in my heart.
I ask that if you know of someone who lost a child - recently or even several years ago - don't go out of your way to avoid them for fear you'll upset them. Let them know you're there.
And don't be afraid to mention the child's name. That's the biggest fear of any parent - that people will forget.
I don't claim to have all the answers, but to the parents of the children killed this past Friday - don't worry, your son or daughter is not alone. They're safe from harm's way and in the loving arms of Jesus.
And you will see your precious child again. That I know!