I, too, have prayed that she died in the arms of her angel, maybe even Mary. It’s the only thing I have that keeps me from totally losing it over the futility of her incomprehensible suffering. I cling to that hope.
I went to her funeral to pay my respects, even though I am a complete stranger. I needed to see her, to offer my respects. A very sweet, Christian co-worker went with me (thank goodness, she drove, I was a mess). I can’t tell you how I have agonized over this little girl’s suffering. Her pointless, pointless suffering, and that of her mother, whose moans I heard in that church that day. They are burned forever in my memory. Even though my only connection with this little girl is from having learned of her sorrowful end through the news, her suffering and death have been so painful for me, I feel like I lost a child of my own. I’ve spoken to her in prayer, and apologized to her, and told her I would have done anything to help her if I could have. I swear to you, in my heart, I heard her say, “Pray for my daddy.” THAT is what I can do for HER. And I pray for her poor, poor, poor mother, who will live with a kind of guilt and sorrow that, God willing, none of us will ever know. That’s how I started praying for him, by doing it for her, Nyia. I’ve promised her I will never forget her, by praying for her father and mother. It’s the only thing I can do. I can’t make it right, I can’t go back in time and save her and hold her and take care of her, but I can do something much harder, to pray for her father. This, I know, is what she wants, so I do it for her. Maybe one day I will be able to do it for his sake, out of charity for him, and not just for her. Praying for her father is the ONLY thing, I’m convinced, that will keep her incomprehensible suffering and death from having been in vain. So please, if you can’t do it out of Christian love for him, do it out of respect for her, and our Savior, in Whose arms she now rests, close to His Sacred Heart.