Thursday, January 10, 2013

children and death.

so these past few weeks of our life have been filled with family and travel.  when we went home to see my family i spent a few evenings at the hospital with my papal.  he was 88.  i knew it was close to the end.  i have loved and adored him since i was very young.  i was so thankful that i had the opportunity to see him before he passed away this past sunday.
the funeral was yesterday.  my mom's side of the family is huge.  there were six kids, and they all have multiple kids, and they all have multiple kids, and gatherings get big and loud and chaotic.  there is some aspect of it that i will always sort of love.  and i had the amazing privilege of getting to do a short eulogy about my papal.  while there were tears shed, i really wanted to see it as a celebration of my papal.  he lived a full life.  he was ready to go home.  and people were able to say their goodbyes.  what a beautiful and wonderful way to be able to leave this world.

however, like it always is with my four year old, the questions were unending.  and the conversations were comical.  so i thought i would repost two of my facebook statuses from our conversations, and then share a little about the ones we had at the funeral.

conversation 1:
'mama, what are your grandma and grandpa doing in heaven?'
'i don't know baby. i think they are probably singing. i think there's lots of music in heaven. what do you think? what are some things you think you would like to do when you get to heaven?'
'i really like jumping on my bed. i think they are jumping on a bed with Jesus.'

it's quite an entertaining thought to picture my grandparents jumping on the bed together. :)

conversation 2 (on tuesday when i was trying to tell her what we would be doing)
 (while attempting to explain to abigail that we would be going to the funeral for my grandpa tomorrow)
'will he be there?'
'sort of. his body will be there.'
'do we get to go to heaven? *jumping up and down* we get to go to heaven!!!'
'not quite. his body will be there, but he won't be able to talk or walk. it will look like he's sleeping, but the part that makes him alive, his soul, is in heaven.'
'does Jesus still live in his heart?'
conversations from the funeral
me-'when we get there today there will probably be lots of people who will cry.  grandma will probably cry because that was her papa.  mama will probably cry.  and lots of other people will be crying as well.  it's okay to cry.  people are sad because they will miss my papal until they get to see him again one day in heaven.'
(during the funeral) a-'mama, what time are you going to cry?'
i guess my crying was not as much as she had hoped for?!

on the way to the cemetery conversation
a-'why are we driving so slow?  (jason attempts an explanation but is sort of interrupted) why do they put him in the ground?  and why do they put dirt on top of him?'
m-'that's only his body.  his soul is in heaven.  he isn't in there anymore.'

aside with jason
m- 'i feel like i should've gotten some books on explaining death to children.  i'm feeling pretty inadequate right now.'
j-'i don't know that most four year olds ask about the same things that she is.

and last of all today.
a-'mama are you still sad?'
m-'well, i'm feeling better.  but mama will miss her papal and will probably be sad for a while.'
a-'that's okay.  i still love you, even when you cry.'

all right.  so this is also why i have not yet been able to pick random winners for headbands.  my goal is saturday for picking two winners (once from my facebook commentors and one from those who commented on here).  thanks for being patient.


  1. When my oldest was 5, we lost my grandpa. They were very close, so it was a hard situation. I got him the book "God Gave Us Heaven." It is a beautiful book with a great explanation of death & heaven. I'll bet your girls would like it too. Thinking of you and saying a prayer for God's comfort and peace to surround you...

  2. I'm sorry to hear about your grandpa :(