Heaven and RJ

RJ, who is four, has been to two funerals in his life. He has a basic understanding that when people who are Christians die, they go to heaven. Maybe he just thinks that when people die, they go to heaven. I’m not quite sure.

He has asked a lot of questions. He will look at the picture I have of my parents and ask me where my mom is. When I answer that she is in heaven, he often says, “No she’s not. She came back.”

I try to explain that when people go to heaven they don’t come back, but he is only four. And at four, your understanding is limited.

RJ was at my sister’s funeral, so the death thing was harder for him. The last time we visited his house, he told me he had seen my sister in WalMart. That she was back. He was pretty adamant, so I didn’t push it.

Still, I should have seen the way he was thinking. If my mom could be in heaven, and Russell and Lillie’s mom could be in heaven, what was going to happen to RJ’s mom? Hmmm…..

In his four-year old wisdom, not to mention omnipotence, RJ has come up with a solution.

He asked his mom the other day if she was going to heaven.

She told him she was, but not for a long time. Until he was older. He didn’t have anything to worry about.

Beth says RJ thought about that for a minute and then said, “No, Mommy. I want you here with me even when I’m old. No heaven for you!”

She didn’t know what to say, and I wouldn’t have, either.

Maybe we’ll try explaining things again when RJ’s a little older.


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November 2006
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