Kate at One More Thing is doing a weekly carnival of sorts, choosing a topic for other bloggers to write about. I’ve been on a blogging hiatus (Look! No posting for weeks and then three in one day!), so this is my first entry.
My post is a bit of a twist on the theme, but this is what’s on my mind today.
An old friend of mine passed away last week, after a courageous battle with cancer. Monday was Louise’s funeral, and I attended with Son in tow.
Some think that funerals aren’t appropriate for children. I disagree. Death is as much a part of life as anything else, and I don’t think attending a funeral will scar Son for life.
He didn’t know this friend, but we talked about her and I showed him photos of her and her family. He already has a pretty good understanding of death (as much as a 4 year-old can), as we lost my stepmother two years ago and we still talk of her, and visit her grave. He asks age-appropriate questions, and I give him age-appropriate answers.
“Is she with G-d?” Yes, buddy.
” Is she with Grandma?” Well, I’m not sure if they know each other, but they’re both with G-d.
“Will you die before me?” Yes, I probably will.
“Will I be 87 when I die?” I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure you’ll live a very long and happy life.
“Will Louise be a baby again (referring to our previous discussions about where he was before he was born – with G-d)?” That’s a good question, buddy. It’s a nice thought, isn’t it?
He was very good during the service – I’ll venture that most of the 300+ guests had no idea that a 4 year-old was present. We looked at photos of Louise throughout her life, and he was really interested in those of her as a little girl. When her young grandson stood up and gave a eulogy Son was rapt, and when the grandson cried Son told me the boy was sad because he missed his Nana.
At the graveside service he asked the Rabbi if Louise was in the box, and the Rabbi explained that her body was there, but her soul was with G-d. I don’t know if he really understood, but he was very enthusiastic about throwing dirt on her casket (a Jewish tradition).
But I think he would have been happy to throw that dirt anywhere.