If you follow me on Facebook, then it's likely you saw my post about Avery's classmate going to be with Jesus. The sweet little girl drowned in her bathtub a few weeks ago. I didn’t know how to handle the issue, so I left it alone until Avery asked. Sure as the world he asked where his friend was the next day. Being one of faith, Avery had heard the term Heaven before because we’ve gone to my grandparents graves and he’s asked where they were and so on. I told him Heaven was in the sky, far away. Anyway, for an instant, I didn’t know what I was going to tell him. I went with the truth and told him Heaven. He then asked, “Mama, she play in Heaven?” I told him, “yes, she plays in Heaven.”
He was OK with that answer, for a couple of days.Then he asked where his friends was again. I said Heaven and hoped that it would satisfy his curiosity for a little while this time too. Nope. He ask, “Can I go and play with Alexis in Heaven.” Oh Crap, what do I say? How do I explain this one? I tried to explain that he could way, way, way down the road, but Mama wanted him to stay here and play. In a 3 year olds mind, that was sufficient enough for that day.
Over this past weekend more questions rolled in. "Why is Alexis in Heaven?" "Where's her mama at?" "Where is Jesus?" "Why is Alexis with Jesus?" "Can I play with Alexis?" "Can mama take me to Heaven to see Alexis?" My mind was boggled. I honestly didn't know how to begin to answer these questions. So I just went one-by-one down the list and gave it my best shot. I addressed that Heaven was far away. Jesus lives everywhere, even inside our heart. I told him that Jesus wasn't ready for us to come play with him yet and he would let us know when it was our turn. Alexis' parents were at home because Jesus hadn't invited them over to play in Heaven yet. And the toughest question I answered was, "Why is Alexis with Jesus?" As tough as it was, I went with the honest answer. I told him she died. He understands that died means not able to move. Much to my surprise, he accepted that answer as well as all the others. He repeated everything back to me, which he does a lot anyway. He likes for me to know he understands or visa-versea.
He kept telling me Jesus was in his heart as he rubbed his chest. He even told Jesus "hello" while rubbing over his little heart. I'm sure there will be more questions and I'm sure I will panic as I try to figure out a truthful answer that is appropriate for a 3 year old, but I feel fortunate enough that my child cares about others. I'm happy that he feels confident in me to provide these answers to him, even if he's only 3. I pray that he always has this trust in me and that he will always ask me questions, even if the answers are hard for his mama to explain.