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To Anti-Vaxxers: What Would You Say at a Funeral?

Would you be able to come to terms with an empty bedroom, a quiet yard, and a still swing?

I have questions.

What would you say to your child, lying in a hospital bed, suffering from a completely preventable disease? A 6 year old Oregon boy contracted the first case of tetanus in 30 years, and after reading the story of his suffering, I have so. many. questions. What did his parents do? Did his mother weep at his bedside, sick with shame and guilt? Or did she pray for him and trust that she still made the right choice? That, live or die, this was how this boy’s life was supposed to go?

Did this mother question every doctor, every nurse, every millimeter of fluids and medicines rushing through her son’s body to save his life? Why was medicine good enough to cure him but not good enough to prevent the disease? Did she breathe a sigh of relief when he recovered and rush every remaining child to the doctor to get vaccinated?

I want to know.

I want to know what this mother would have said at her son’s funeral, had he died.

I’m incredibly curious what any anti-vaxxer would say, whether it was their child’s own funeral or someone else’s.

Would you apologize to me? Would you beg my forgiveness if your unvaccinated, homeschooled child carried measles to my unvaccinated infant too young to receive the immunity, and my infant never recovered? Or would you insist that, since your child is fine, that my child must have been inherently unhealthy. That it’s not your fault, because if the disease was so bad, your child would be dead, too.

What would you say at the funeral of a little girl who was in remission from cancer but died from pertussis? What would you say to her family, crippled by medical and funeral bills, that saw the glimmer at the end of the tunnel and a full life for their baby, only to be struck down by your selfish choice?

Would you cling to your beliefs that vaccines are poison? Would you be able to look a grieving parent in the eye, or in the mirror, and convince yourself that you still don’t believe in modern medicine? Would you be able to come to terms with an empty bedroom, a quiet yard, and a still swing?

I want to know.

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