My youngest daughter is four – actually four and a half. The way she thinks and makes connections amazes me. This morning as we were driving along on our way to pre-school, she starts naming the various people in her life and asking me if they will still be alive when she is grown up.
“Will Daddy still be alive when I’m grown up?” “Will my sister?”
I confirm, “yes,” hopefully these people will all still be a live when she is grown up.
“Will you still be alive?” she asks.
Again, I tell her that “yes” that I hope to be still alive when she is grown up. I don’t want to mislead her as of course, you never know. I remember hearing stories that once I asked my Grandma when I was about her age if she were going to die. My Grandma reassured me that she wasn’t. Yet, that was a promise she couldn’t keep forever as 23 years later she said goodbye to me and went to meet our Father in Heaven.
My daughter is quiet a few minutes and then she asked, “You mean you’ll still be alive unless God calls you to heaven.”
“That’s true,” I reply.
She continues on, her mind always coming up with new questions. “How will he call you to heaven?” she asks.
I wish I knew I think. I tell her “Nobody knows how or when sweetie.”
“Will He tell you?” she asks.
“Maybe. I’m not sure,” I reply. “You don’t need to worry about being called to heaven right now though,” I say.
“OK” she responds.
She seems too young to be contemplating such heavy topics. It makes me uneasy. I’m not sure why this topic makes me uncomfortable, but it does. Mortality. We all know we are going to die someday, but no one, or at least I don’t, likes to talk about it too much. How do I answer her questions without making her worry? I continue to mull it over in my mind as we continue our drive.
“Bingo! Slug bug, yellow, no tap-backs,” she calls out to me from the backseat. I smile. Sure enough a yellow VW Beetle is parked along the side of the road.
She has already moved on to other things. I guess I will too.