One day, I was speaking with a heartbroken father about the death of his son. Tears came to his eyes as he spoke of the boy’s life and accomplishments, of which he was rightly proud.
I listened carefully and with sadness.
After a time, the man also spoke of his other son, whose life had comprised one struggle after another. It was obvious to me that this older boy had been a disappointment to his father.
At one point, the man paused, looked away, and softly but clearly said something quite disturbing.
“The wrong son died.”
While I still felt compassion for this man’s terrible loss, my heart really ached for his surviving son.
How difficult it must be to live as the one who, in his father’s eyes, is expendable.