Saturday, June 13, 2009

A 4-year-old's fears

Today I had to promise my 4-year-old little boy that we are not going to heaven. He told Patric he wanted to say a prayer for Chase tonight and I joined them. After his prayer, which is very private, very secretive, we can hardly make out what he is saying, he asks me to say a prayer. After my prayer, I tell Reese that I believe we are going to see Chase again some day in heaven. And he is very determinant that we (mommy & daddy) are only going to go to heaven when we are old. And since we are not getting old (I wish!), we are not going to go to heaven. So, "we're not going to heaven some day, mom," he tells me. Over and over again. He says that dad's grandad is in heaven so he can see Chase, but we are not going to heaven.

The ignorance of youth is beaming from him. His matter-of-factness is almost cute. But I can also sense fear from him. I know he is scared of heaven. He is scared to believe in or act like heaven exists. Because it's a place we cannot just pop in and say hi and then come back home. He wishes it was, but it's not. And he knows that. He knows it's a one-way ticket if any of us leaves him to go to heaven. Because Chase is never coming back. He tells me sometimes that he thinks "Chase is going to get not sick anymore and God is going to bring him back down here to us." But since that can't happen, as far as he knows, the only way we will see him is in our dreams and if we close our eyes and think of Chase, remembering what we saw in the hospital. To comprehend anything else is just not going to happen right now. There are no reasons, no explanations that we have so how could we expect him to try to understand heaven?

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