I recently bought the book Heaven is for Real For Kids. I say recently, it was more like 6-8 months ago. It's been sitting on the shelf of books for a while now and I finally decided to break it out and read it to Kaidi. I remember buying the book and thinking that it would be a great way to help Kaidi understand more about Heaven. Last week or so ago, I decided to finally read it to her. I had not even read the book, only skimmed through the pages at Wal-Mart the day I bought it. I curled up in bed with her and Asher and opened the book and began reading it. She asked questions about the beautiful white horse and she really sat and listened to the story. All of a sudden I look down and she is crying, I mean REALLY crying hard. I ask her what is wrong and she says, "I don't want to go to Heaven! I will miss you too much Mommy!" Now this completely takes me off guard and also breaks my heart. I start telling her how beautiful Heaven is and how great of a place it is and how no one gets hurt in Heaven or sick or sad. She still doesn't quite see it the way I do. In her eyes, I think she sees Heaven as a place that kids are taken away from their parents. She knows how much we miss Brayden and Kenadi and how we have cried over them. A few weeks ago, while getting ready for church, I had Kaidi in the bathroom with me, fixing her hair. Gregg was in the bathroom as well and I went to look for the boys because I had not heard them for a minute or two. I couldn't find them. I looked in the bedrooms, the other bathroom, the laundry room, I started hollering for Asher and I could hear him saying "what" but it was far off. I finally tracked the small voice down, back to my bedroom, he and Atlas had went in to our closet and closed the door, as soon as I opened the door, the first thing that catches my eye was a little blue foam handprint. It was ripped in half and when I saw it, I fell to pieces. I couldn't control myself and I cried, cried harder than I ever let my kids see me cry before. It was Brayden's VBS craft he made 2 weeks before their accident. It was such a treasure to me and it cut me so deeply that it was torn. Gregg came in and got the kids out and came back to comfort me and tell me that it was ok and that it could be fixed. He helped so much, I know I shouldn't have been SO upset, but in that moment I felt the raw pain of losing them again just as if it was the day before. I felt so bad for falling apart in front of the kids. The boys didn't understand it and I would not want in ANY way for Atlas to think he did anything wrong, but Kaidi was crying in the living room, it bothered her so bad to see me that way and she knew what it was, I had shared my box of treasures with her. In her precious mind, Heaven is not a place she wants to go because she sees the hurt it brings upon her parents that her brother and sister are not here with us and are in Heaven. While reading the book to her I tried to explain to her that it was a great place that I hoped we all could be together there some day. But the thing is, she asked another tough question that night. "Mom, how come Brayden and Kenadi couldn't come back here like that little boy did?" WOW, ok so maybe reading this book to her was a BAD idea, hindsight's 20/20. This girl is wise beyond her years. I told her that God has a plan for each of us and that His plan was for them to stay in Heaven and that one day we would all be together in Heaven. I know that there was so much more I needed to tell her, but at that time, I thought a short, simple answer was enough. The child has enough running through her mind so I'd hate to try and glamorize it any differently. I hope that in time she will see Heaven as the magnificent place that it is, I hate that her timeline of things is backwards, that children go to Heaven before their parents. It's not that way for many, but the only death she knows is theirs and she knows it was long before her mommy and daddy wanted it to happen. How have you dealt with death with your children? Explaining to them the why, even when you don't quite understand it yourself? I'm not posting this in a depressed way, I know it may be depressing, but I know that there will be many of these moments. This is just the beginning. As my children age, so will their minds and they will begin to understand it more and more and maybe by then, I will have more of an answer to give them. Some things I do not understand myself, but something I do know is that I have a Savior. A Comforter in the hardest of times. An ever-present Father who loves me and has never left my side.In my most undeserving moments he offers a peace that passes all understanding, forgiveness for the mounds of sins I have committed, mercy in my times of deep despair and grace, amazing grace that saves me from this sin-filled world and gives me the hope that I have in my future with Him in Heaven.
God, I don't know what you are doing, but I know who You are!