How Did They Do It?

I was browsing Facebook the other day, and some person I had “friended” (for Mafia Wars no doubt.  Yeah, I played it for a while) knew somebody who had lost their six year old daughter after tonsil surgery.  They posted a video that they had done for her “Celebration of Life,” and I watched it.  Being a “family historian” (it’s only been a couple of years.  That “title” carries too much weight to use it already, but I don’t know what else to say), while I was watching it (even though I don’t really know anybody involved, I was moved)  I started thinking about my ancestors and how they themselves lost children.  I know specifically of two, and suspect a few others, children my Great Grandparents lost in infancy or soon after.  Up until fairly recently, this was not an uncommon occurrence (not to the surprise of genealogists).  I have a few ancestors who were named after their dead siblings.  A hundred years ago, parents lost their young children all the time (assuming a large statistical population).  Farther back in history you go, the worse it gets.  How did they do it?  Nowadays the loss of a young child is a tragedy.  In earlier generations, it was almost expected.  How did they get past it?  I’m emotionally moved by [essentially] a total strangers loss.  What would I do if it were my own?  It really makes you think.

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