Sunday, February 22, 2009

Comforting Moment: The Immortal Infant Child

Author and poet James Henry Leigh Hunt (1784-1859) wrote these words in one of his prose pieces entitled, "The Deaths of Little Children."

Hunt's words offer some comfort to parents during a time of loss:
    There are griefs so gentle in their very nature that it would be worse than false heroism to refuse them a tear.

    Of this kind are the deaths of infants...

    Those who have lost an infant
    are never, as it were,
    without an infant child.

    Their other children grow up to manhood and womanhood, and suffer all the changes of mortality; but this one alone is rendered an immortal child; for death has arrested it with his kindly harshness, and blessed it into an eternal image of youth and innocence.

James Henry Leigh Hunt

Hunt helps parents who have lost an infant realize that it is alright to shed a tear.

He also helps parents to view the death of an infant as having been 'blessed into an eternal image of youth and innocence.' The child who dies as a newborn or an infant forever becomes the immortal child.

Note on the Image: The photographer writes that this Mother and Child sculpture is place at the entrance to Maternity Section in Grey's Hospital, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Hunt, James Henry Leigh. "Deaths Of Little Children, The." Great Literature Online. 1997-2009.

Image: Adam Ciesielski.
Mother and Child Sculpture. Royalty Free Use.

No comments: