On Death

It would be hard to write this week without acknowledging my heavy heart.  I’ve been thinking about death a lot recently.

Maybe it started a few weeks ago when I was rushing Nora out of the house to go somewhere with me when we were stopped by our neighbor.  They have the sweetest dog, Hero, and ever since we moved in, he has always welcomed us home.  Our neighbor told me once that when Hero heard our car coming down the street, he would pace by the front door until he was let out to come greet us (and I like to think, especially Nora).  They loved each other.  Fighting back tears, Mr. King told us they had picked the date to put Hero down, as he was unable to walk and had lost all function of his back legs.  He often days would lay on the grass and cry until Nora and I would come over to give him some love.  Not even thinking, I gave my condolences, and Nora and I gave Hero some sweet snuggles.  Back in the car, Nora asked what we had talked about (she listens to EVERYTHING that is being said around her).  I delicately explained to her what was going to happen to Hero which she easily accepted although admitted how much she would miss him.

Fast forward a few days, and Nora’s fish dies.  Right in front of her, we notice he’s belly-up.  Since this is technically Olaf 2.0, I decided I did not want to continue sneakily buying fish to replace the dead ones without her knowing and just told her what was happening.  For the past 2 weeks our house has been a constant open conversation about death.  It has been eye opening…for example, this was our conversation just yesterday…

“Mom, where is outer space?” -Above the clouds, you can’t see it…

“Like Heaven?” – Kind of

“But aren’t the planets in outer space?” – Yes

“So the planets are in Heaven?” – hmmmm…lets save this conversation for when you’re a little older…

HELLO to doors opening about diving into Genesis with a 3 year old.  We have so many bible stories for kids books and since starting our daily devotional for preschoolers, these questions are leading to amazing conversations and daily lessons.

Then it hits…the tragedy of last weekend.  Our TVs are filled with graphic pictures of a crazy scene.  We are sure not to expose Nora to this side of death, but here I am as a Mother wondering for the first time what I would do if that were my child inside of that club.  The story of the Mother texting her son who was stuck in the bathroom while everything was unfolding brought me to tears.

I won’t turn this into a post that would divide people politically, but something has to change.  I think it is possible to believe that everyone should have a right to bear arms, while simultaneously believing that our current system is broken and there must be a better way to ensure those guns are not SO easily available.  I also don’t want to get preachy, but Love IS Love and as a Christian I’m a firm believer that the Christ-like thing to do is to Love everyone regardless or race, religion, class, or sexual orientation.  Period.

So…on death.  I’m working on navigating the murky waters of explaining death to a child.  It’s hard and there is no map, but I think we’re making progress.  Now Hate…that’s a tougher one.  I’m absolutely scared she’s going to learn it the hard way, I know for sure she’ll learn it eventually, but that isn’t something I can teach…only Love will be taught in this household.

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