Commentary: Keep them in your heart and your prayers

John DeMello, Southington Veterans Committee
John DeMello, Southington Veterans Committee
Phone: (860) 276-6299

Over the years, I have attended many funerals for military and civilian personnel. The death of a loved one will change your world forever. Grief is a natural process, but everyone deals with the loss of a loved one differently.

The loss can be unbearable, especially if it was your child. Wanting to be with them and protect them is common. We know we can’t; we can only ask God to take care of them and wait for our day when the good “Lord” calls us home.

I have had the honor to speak with numerous Gold Star Mothers, women who have lost their sons to war. I’ve looked into their eyes, and I’ve seen the pain that they carry in their hearts. You can be there for them, but time is the factor in processing their loss.

I want to share the poem, “For All Parents,” written by Edgar A. Guest:


“I’ll lend you, for a while, a child of mine,” He said.

“For you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he’s dead.

It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three,

But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?

He’ll bring his charms to gladden you, and should his stay be brief,

You’ll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.”

“I cannot promise he will stay;since all from earth return,

But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.

I’ve looked the wide world over in My search for teachers true

And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes I have chosen you.

Now will you give him all your love, not think the labor vain,

Nor hate Me when I come to call to take him back again?”

“I fancied that I heard them say, “Dear Lord, Thy will be done!

For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we run.

We’ll shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may,

And for the happiness we’ve known, forever grateful stay;

But should the angels call for him much sooner than we’ve planned,

We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand!”


To all the Gold Star Mom’s and  Gold Star Family members, the Town of Southington will forever remember the service, dedication and the life of your son and brother. They are not here physically, but they live with us in spirit.

I want to acknowledge Rose Burgess, Southington’s only Gold Star Mother, who resides in Southington. Her son, Raymond A. Burgess, was killed in action on Feb. 2, 1968 in Thua Thien Provice Vietnam.

Raymond turned 20 years old just four days before his death.

The most wonderful places to be in the world are: In someone’s thoughts, someone’s prayers and in someone’s heart.

Please keep her in yours.

John DeMello is a member of the Southington Veterans Committee. The committee can be reached at Town Hall, 75 Main St., by phone at (860) 276-6299, or by email at