Phone: 203 742-1450
Fairfield County Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Bridgeport

June 12, 2024

“It’s much easier to talk about acceptance than to accept, and much easier to discuss faith than to have faith.”
— Tim Russert

Christopher GartnerNone of us will ever understand the death of a child. It defies comprehension. It violates our sense of the way the universe should operate. It violates a natural order that children should outlive their parents. It is the worst agony a person can endure. The Sanskrit word “Vilomah,” which is used to describe a parent who has lost a child, means “against the natural order.”

The late journalist Tim Russert in his book “Big Russ & Me” has a chapter titled “Loss” in which he tells the story of Christopher Gartner, the teenage son of his former boss at NBC, Michael Gartner. After Christopher “suddenly died of acute juvenile diabetes, it left Michael in very rough shape,” Russert wrote. Gartner was inconsolable.

Russert told him, “Think of it this way. What if God had come to you and said, ‘Michael, I’m going to make you an offer. I will give you a beautiful, wonderful, happy, and lovable son for seventeen years, but then it will be time for him to come home.’ You would have made that deal in a second, right?”

“Of course. I wouldn’t even have to think about it,” Gartner responded. He later wrote a column about his loss, which appeared in USA Today, and received hundreds of letters from readers, many of whom shared the same grief. While Russert’s words didn’t cure Michael Gartner’s grief, they helped him along his journey of healing.


Loss does not follow a natural order in our lives.

Sign Up for Healing Journey Messages

Receive a daily message to your email address.