Explaining the word ‘dead’

I still never speak the work ‘dead’ about my angel in Heaven. He is in Heaven. He is not here on Earth. But I refuse to believe that he is gone. I know he is not. He is with me in spirit, riding on my heart, and in every one of my thoughts.

My angel on Earth is just beginning to understand the word ‘dead.’ It is not a comfortable conversation, and I want him to develop his own faith and own beliefs when he is ready. Even though I talk about his brother and he sees his photos and videos, he will never touch him, talk to him, know him, the same way most siblings do.

We were making dinner the other night and my husband said he was making one of his grandmother’s recipes. Our sweet angel asked who his grandmother was, and my husband responded, my daddy’s mom. ‘Where is she?’ he asked innocently.

My husband explained that she passed away before he was born. He said, ‘so she’s dead?’

When he answered yes, he went on, ‘Like my brother? Like the dinosaurs?’

My husband was so patient, and didn’t even crack, as he explained that when people die, we can’t see them, or touch them, or hear them anymore.

‘Will I die?’ he asked.

This one was even more rough for me, but my husband plowed through. He said, ‘not for a very, very long time.’

The very most frightening reality for me as a parent is that children do die. And the thought of losing a second one paralyzes me.

He went on to explain that everyone eventually dies, and we will all be reunited in a wonderful place we call Heaven.

I know he still doesn’t quite understand. Hell, I don’t understand. He really wants a brother. One that he can touch, so they can play tag. One that he can hear, so they can share laughter. One that he can snuggle, and wrestle, and share with his friends.

But, unfortunately, he won’t be able to do any of these things with his brother. When he gets a little older, I will explain how I see and feel and hear his brother all the time in my dreams. But he’s still a little young for that.

 

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