Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Children and their questions

Today a new widow on facebook shared the following status update:

Katie asked - Will I die from a germ? Chloe keeps asking why Daddy isnt coming home.

I remember those questions. My boys worried about their hearts "blowing up" and they worried next that I would die. They asked if they were going to grow up to be old men. Jake asked when his Dad was coming home. Sam worried that Grandpa and Uncle Andy were going to have heart attacks. Chris just keeps asking WHY his dad died.

It's hard. It's so hard. Losing your spouse feels as if your soul has been torn. Dealing with the grief and anxiety your children are feeling is like having the heart ripped out of your chest in addition to the damage to your spirit.

There are no good answers. You really can't promise them long, healthy lives. Oh, I WANT TO! There is nothing I'd love more than to be able to guarantee that for my children. In all honesty I can't tell them that they will live as long or longer than their father. I also can't promise that I'll never die. I can't promise them their future spouses and children will outlive them.

Here's how we handled (and still handle) these questions. I wear Dave's wedding ring on a necklace. When they ask questions that have no good answers I remind them that life and love are both symbolized by that ring. Although our physical bodies have a birth date and a death date our spirits do not. Our spirits live forever with God. Love, like our spirits is not limited by the physical bodies that house us. LIfe and love are both eternal, no beginning and no ending- just like the circle formed by the plain gold band on my necklace.

This is the promise I make to my babies, "I will love you FOREVER. Your dad loves you FOREVER. God loves you FOREVER. Someday we'll meet again. For now KNOW that YOU ARE LOVED!"

1 comment:

Amy said...

I think you're right that's the best answer you can give your children, and possibly a gift, for when they do have to face another loved ones death.

Jake camping in the living room

Jake camping in the living room