No Parent Should Ever Have To Bury His Child AliveCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 46•17 • Apr 29, 2010 By Don Hecklenberg The whole thing just seems like a terrible, terrible dream.One minute you're watching your little boy blow out the candles on his birthday cake, and the next minute, there you are, carrying his little flailing body out to the hole you've dug in the backyard. To be honest, I'm still in shock.Never did I think a day like this would come. Never did I think I'd someday have to bury my sweet, dear Kyle alive.No parent should.This pain, this excruciating pain—it's unlike anything I've felt before. Especially in my ribs, where Kyle kept punching me. It's unbearable.As a parent, it's the worst thing imaginable. Your own child, suddenly gone. I'd give anything to take his place in that hole beneath our doghouse! Anything! It should have been me screaming for my life as my mouth slowly filled with dirt. But it wasn't. I have to come to terms with what happened. Our little boy is gone and he's never coming back. Kathy packed the makeshift grave much too tight for there to be any chance of that.At least he's not suffering anymore, as he was for the seemingly endless 15-minute struggle beforehand.Kyle. Our little Kyle, he was so brave. No matter how many times we beat him back down, our little guy never gave up. He was a fighter to the very end. Even when we thought he was a goner—when we thought it was over and had turned around to walk back inside, he surprised us by crawling his way out.Wrestling him back into that hole was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.If you're a mother or a father, take my advice and spend as much time as you possibly can with your children. Cherish every moment, because you never know when you'll suddenly be shoving them into a crudely dug tomb. Hold onto them tight so you can get a sense of their strength and then never let go. I still can't believe it's real. Even now, days since we've heard any thumping or muffled moans from the backyard, a million thoughts are running through my head: How? Why? Did the neighbors see anything? Can we ever move on? But we'll never know the answers.I thought burying my father alive was hard, but nothing can prepare you for this. Dad was old and had lived a long, prosperous life. He had three kids and five grandchildren by the time I brained him with a tire iron and dragged his semiconscious body to an abandoned quarry. While there was too much electrical tape on his mouth for him to speak, I remember the way he looked up at me. His eyes seemed to say, "It's all right, son. It's my time. Let me go." And he was right. There's a time for everything, even death.But it wasn't my son's time. Kyle was supposed to have lived until long after I was arrested for his attempted murder and locked away for good, until he had children of his own to love him as much as I do.Are you there, God? Do you even exist? Because I'd really like to know how you could breathe life into a beautiful child only to have a monster like me take him away from me. When he gets to heaven, I want you to explain to him why he's so much smaller than the other angels and how he got those deep rope burns on his wrists and ankles. I bet even you won't be able to do that.I've spent the past few sleepless nights in my daughter Samantha's room, just watching her in her crib. I think about how fragile life is and how quickly it can be taken away at any age. If something so awful could happen to her brother, who was barely 5, what's to stop it from happening to a girl even younger and more vulnerable tomorrow or possibly next Tuesday?Nothing. Absolutely nothing.