When my grandmother passed over a year ago, my 5 year old daughter had a lot of questions about death. Where did grandma go? Would she see her again? Where is heaven?
I felt so uncomfortable answering these questions. Not having anything to do with religion or spirituality, but because no one truly knows the answers to them. I am saying what I think and what will provide her comfort.
I told her that grandma is in heaven and has become an angel that watches over us. And someday when I/she/Daddy/her blanket/ go to heaven, we’ll see her again.
Now, here’s where it gets tricky. She asked the question that every parent dreads.
“When are YOU going to heaven, Mommy?”
I didn’t know what to tell her. I chose to focus on old age and stress the fact that most people go to heaven after living very long lives. She has not yet had to deal with the death of someone who isn’t elderly and I don’t feel ready to cross that bridge right now.
She asked, “Like 100 years old?”
I replied, “Somewhere around there.”
She’s starting to do math now. She hears me talking about turning 40 this year and “getting older” and you can see her starting to freak out a bit. She’s told me over and over again she doesn’t want me to go to heaven, she doesn’t want me to leave. I have reassured her that I will always be her angel. I’ll never be far from her, even if she can’t see me.
So when she brought up heaven again in the car yesterday, I was nervous to hear her questions. Would she get upset again? Would she ask me things that I couldn’t answer?
But instead she asked, “Can you pick whatever age you want to be when you get to heaven?”
What an interesting idea, I thought.
I smiled and said, “I can’t see why not.”
Her reply was perfect. “I’m going to pick 5 years old. Because at 5 years old, you, Daddy and Tooper (what she calls her brother) are all together.”
Kind of amazing how a 5 year old can figure out life’s biggest mysteries, then sing “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” from Frozen two seconds later.
Parenting. It’s full of conversations where your children might actually know more than you.14 Comments