Friday, 16 April 2010

Mia introducing challenge 78.

This fortnight is a tough one for most of us.
The challenge is to journal about loss, whether it is the finality of someone passing away or someone just moving away. Document the impact on your life, or create a tribute to that person.

Explaining death.

I was at a loss the other day when four-year-old Nadine came up to me bearing a long face. I asked her what was wrong. She gave me a hug and said, "I want us to always be together. I don't want you to grow old. I don't want you to die." I looked at my beautiful daughter's face and saw fear in her eyes and worry across her brow. And I wanted to cry right there and then.
I hugged her tightly, hoping that she would feel the love and concern that I had for her and at the same time gathering my thoughts as to what to tell her. I wanted to tell her that everything was going to be fine, that Mommy will never die and that we will always be together forever. But I knew I couldn't say that. I couldn't lie to her and give her false hopes. So I hugged her quietly for a few minutes.

Then I began explaining to her how everybody grows every year. That everybody started out once as babies and that every year we all grow a year old until someday we will be too old for our bodies and that we will eventually die. But only our bodies will die and not our soul. Our soul will go to heaven and be with Jesus. But that will take years and years to happen. And that we need not think about that right now and just enjoy living.

I reminded her that she was once a baby and every year she grew a little older, bigger and taller. And now she is four years old and already a big girl. Someday she will get married and have babies of her own.

I told her that Mommy was once a baby too and I grew older every year until I married Daddy and we had her and her sister. I asked her if she wanted to see Mommy's baby pictures and she nodded. So I brought out my pictures all yellowed with age.

"Is this you? Mom, you're so cute! You have a pretty dress." Nadine was her bubbly self again, her thoughts and concerns suddenly forgotten. I looked at her smiling face and answered her questions. But I knew that this was not the end of our conversation. That she will relive her fears again and be worried about them.


Carol B said...


Carol B said...
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Gina L said...

After my dad passed away, my brother and I dealt with having to tell his children. I do not envy you that conversation!!!

My husband passed away unexpectedly on 9/18/2009. He was 38. I have been slowly but surely putting together a memorial album as a way to cope with the loss. I call it a diary with pictures. Anyway, I know these LOs are probably too old to count for the challenge, but just in case they are not, I wanted to share.

Hugs and prayers for everyone dealing with the difficult circumstances of death of a loved one and other losses, as well (friends moving away and so forth). Gina L