At the end


We are counting down to New Years’ Eve, making our plans for cocktail attire and merriment, or for Dick Clark and take-out, or wondering where that rogue kiss might land – in any case, looking forward to a fresh beginning and a brand new start.

But today, my great-grandma is dying.
And today, Ben is in his last moments.

What do you do at the end? There are no more words, and no more scriptures to be claimed, and no more ideas. There are prayers – there are always prayers, seamlessly woven into our thoughts, silent pleadings, and that last desperate shred of hope – but in the end, the end just… comes.

We weren’t made for death – yet none of us will make it off this earth alive. Not one of us will survive life.

Still. Death should never come, especially for one so small.

Please join me today in praying for comfort for both my legendary great-grandma, and for sweet, spunky, miraculous little Ben. And then pray for courage for those left behind – those whose hearts are crumbling even as I type.


tags: | |


  1. Shannon on December 30, 2008 at 12:46 PM

    I started crying when I read this post. I’ve been following Ben and his family through Caring Bridge since you first posted about him. Just breaks my heart to pieces. There really are no words.

    And I’m thankful for your Grandma and for the amazing family that has come from her life. Prayers sent to you and your family, dear Annie.

  2. Annie on December 30, 2008 at 1:24 PM

    Annie, I’m so sorry to hear about your great-grandmother. And I sit here with tears in my eyes after hearing about little Ben. I already posted a plea for prayer for the Townes on my blog. Today is a sad day…

  3. Lyla on December 30, 2008 at 1:53 PM


    Aw, Annie. I’m sorry that you’re losing your great-grandmother and Ben.

    I think there will be several people who never even knew Ben or his family who will cry. I know I sure am.

    It’s certainly in my prayers that everybody in your family and in the Towne family will have all they need as their hearts begin to heal.

  4. Paul on December 30, 2008 at 4:26 PM

    I just got the word about Ben and have been reading on Caring Bridge the outpouring of pain and support, humility and devastation, love and bewilderment that hundreds are communicating. I have no words to add, no wisdom to share, no power to change what really matters. I have little but puffy eyes and a kind of weariness in my bones. We got word from you while we were meeting with Joe Knittig about our coming trip to Africa; he, in hearing the news, he shared that every 15 seconds another child in sub-saharan Africa becomes an orphan because of AIDs. The suffering in this world is overwhelming.

  5. Sarah on December 31, 2008 at 3:54 AM

    I’m so sorry for your loss and for your friends’ loss. I’ve also followed Ben’s progress on Caringbridge, since I first noticed you posting about him. What a sweet, spunky little boy!

    As for their being no words, at the very least, you’ve managed to say something where many of us literally CAN NOT FIND THE WORDS and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s grateful.

Leave a Comment