When someone who has lived a long and fulfilled life dies, it's befitting and appropriate for the grieving to give thanks and celebrate the years he lived. It's bittersweet, but there's comfort knowing the recently departed had opportunity that time provides. Only time can allow someone to collect memories, build friendships and relationships, overcome adversity, create a family and realize love, and gain self-pride and wisdom from navigating life's ups and downs with strength and purpose. Death is a gut punch that leaves survivors stunned and angry, confused, overcome with questions that have no answers. But what if a life is cut before it's really lived? Where is the consolation for the grieving when their loved one wasn't given enough time? How does a survivor pay tribute to someone whose life was cut off before he could realize and celebrate his own triumph? What can the grieving do when they're struggling with the loss of a person whose life was abruptly cut short before it could really begin, much less to gain momentum to collect all the moments that would define who he would become?
David Baird was 30 years old. He was - is - a son, father, brother, soulmate, friend. His life meant so much more to people than he probably didn't have a chance to realize. We who grieve saw a young man with a full, rich life of possibility and happiness ahead of him, but he was denied the time it takes a person to glimpse even a fraction of that potential. Life will move forward for all of us who loved David, but how are we able to truly accept losing him so soon, and how will we find the words to explain this to his young sons, Jakob and Zackary? What sense can a mother and father make when they lose their youngest child when they themselves were still instilling in him the promise of the future he was supposed to have had? How can a young wife make sense of having spent 15 years building a life and family with her childhood sweetheart only to lose him completely barely a year after their second son was born?
David unknowingly had pneumonia when he suddenly suffered cardiac arrest after just being admitted to the hospital for breathing problems. He received immediate CPR, but unfortunately, even with assistance, his brain was denied oxygen for too long to overcome the trauma sustained. His life has been supported far beyond the boundaries of the hospital since his heart stopped, but despite the power of medical technology, love, prayer, hope and the overwhelming compassion and support given so freely by so many, it's still not enough for survival. He thought he was going to the hospital for something that would turn out, in the long run, to be minor. And, uncomprehendingly, he went into cardiac arrest and never regained consciousness. He was denied the chance to say goodbye to anyone, which is something no one will ever be able to understand, much less explain to his sons.
David and Autumn were young parents struggling to make ends meet. They were building a life together, but as so many of us have had to learn the hard way, life is sometimes unforgiving. They were raising their children on a one-income family without benefit of health or life insurance. It isn't enough to have lost him, but added to thatgrief is the extra indignity of not being able to afford a proper burial. Resources are limited even with the entire family helping as much as they can.
We humbly ask for your help, be it through prayer or healing thoughts or, for anyone who is able, a donation. The costs of laying a loved one to rest are staggering and, at least for this family, impossible to provide. The pride of our family is strong, but giving David the peace and dignity he so desperately deserves is stronger. Any amount contributed will help ease a burden that's already almost too much to overcome.
There is very little consolation left for the grieving survivors of a young man who had barely been given a chance to live. The idea of "celebrating" a life that has barely been lived is, on the surface, incomprehensible. What is undeniable, though, is that we feel privileged to know and love David, even if only for such a short time. The tragedy of David's death cannot be altered, but we dearly hope it can be transformed by love and support. By coming together and allowing our hearts to open to one another, we hope some remnants of faith can be found.
Thank you for loving and supporting us and David, and for selflessly sharing your words, prayers and funeral contributions. What a small word gratitude seems in the face of grief.
Love to all.