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Tuesday, June 2, 2009


This morning at breakfast, Izzy was eating the first blueberries and blackberries from our yard this year when out of the blue, she looked at me and asked, "Momma, Catie like blueberries?" It's the first time she's ever asked me about something Catie liked or didn't like. I told her that yes, Catie liked blueberries (and strawberries) a lot, kind of like she did. Then she pointed to her bowl of cereal, "Catie like cereal, Momma?" And I told her that yes, Catie liked cereal, but she liked it dry in a cup, not w/ milk in a bowl like she did. She seemed satisfied, and I appreciated that she had asked, so we went on with our morning. A little later, as we were riding in the car, she said, "Momma, I want to go to Catie's house." In my mind, I was thinking, "me too baby, me too." But, out loud I said, "Well, Iz, who does Catie live with?" "Jesus." "And where does Catie live?" "In Heaven." So I told her about how Heaven is way up high in the sky above the clouds and that loving Jesus means we go to live there when we die. I told her that Catie was little when she died, so she's gone there before us. And I told her that we would go to see her sister later when it was our time to go to Heaven. Again she said, "I wanna go to Catie's house." So we talked a bit more... Time and space and living and dying are hard enough to understand when you're grown, much less when you are two. But I confess to loving that she's opening the door for conversations about Catie and about Heaven.

I worry that she will be scared of dying b/c Catie died young. Today was the first time I've used the word "die" with her and a couple of weeks ago I used the word "cancer" w/ her for the first time(the child life folks say to be sure to call diseases by their real names and to not say, "Catie was sick and she died" b/c then they'll be scared the next time they get sick.) I wish she didn't have to know that kids could die. I pray that God will give Tre' and I wisdom to guide her (and Chip) in all things, esp. important stuff like we talked about today. I sure do wish I could see in her mind to see how she's making sense of things.


Amanda: said...

Gosh, that must have been a tough conversation. Sounds like you handled it like a pro though. Sounds like things are going well - that's great :)

bp said...

I agree, it sounds like you handled that conversation well. Good job.

Hope your family has a fun summer!

jandkland said...

What a precious and yet daunting door to walk through. Nothing about this situation is right. No one should ever have to watch their child suffer, attend their child's funeral, and then talk to their child's siblings about a loss that happened way before its time. But you are living that. I pray that you'll be able to treasure these times when you can share who Catie was with her little sister and that God will continue to provide age-appropriate responses to the difficult questions (through people such as the child-life specialist!). Thinking of you, friend! I'm so glad Izzy is going to get to know Catie through your stories and pictures.