A child who dies before completing his first year of life is everyone’s defeat. Before such suffering, only silence does not risk wounding the feelings and passion of the parents and of all those who knew, loved, and took care of the infant passing from death to Life.
Three hands are intertwined in this silence: they are tied not only by the same bracelet that gives a name to the struggle for life, but especially by their binding love, a love that is stronger than death. Those hands clung to suffering, they failed to protect as they so deeply wished to; those hands cherished increasingly weaker hopes.
Three simple hands forming a Tau, inscribing a painful human event of the gift of life offered by Christ’s Cross, are nothing. Yet humanity needs those hands: hands that bear witness to the option for the small, for those who are defenseless, deluged, discarded; hands that never cease transmitting warmth, love, life, even when love is contradicted, when warmth is quenched, and when life recedes and ebbs away.
The hands of a child, of a man and a woman who had dreamt a long embrace, close to one another, all three of them faithful after days, months, years, who had promised to be in each other’s kind care… those hands are nothing. They did it until they could, even beyond all reasonable limits, for love extends beyond the boundaries of science and of life.
Now the smaller hand has left the grip, without voice nor words it sung and suffered Nunc dimittis, transmitting the last gasp of gratitude and peace to the two other hands. Now the two hands left appear overcome by grief, yet in them throbs the breath of life of the smaller one, imbued with the life they managed to convey beyond all evils and shadows of death.
Those hands did not fail, and thanks to them also the humanity engrained in each one of us continues to thrive.
The humanity we cannot afford losing is interwoven within those intertwined hands. Those intertwined hands raise a hymn to the precious gift of life, to the defense of the greatest gift we all receive; a hymn to the first, fundamental vocation of every human person: to have life, to be life.