Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Hard Conversation

Marley and I were driving to get some dinner tonight when she piped up from the backseat:

"Mom, are you going to die?"

Me: "I'm not going to die right now honey.  What made you think about that?"
Her: "I don't know."  *Long silence*  "Well, are you going to go to heaven?"
Me: "Yes.  You and I will both go to heaven if we have Jesus in our hearts."
*Another long silence*

Her: "But Mom if you get sick, you might die. 
I don't want you to die.  Who will take care of me?"

I think I felt my heart break.

Me: "Oh honey, I'm not sick."
Her: "But Daddy died.  Why was his body so sick?"

What am I supposed to say???  Help me, Lord.

Me: "Well, sometimes it just happens to people.  But Daddy was really, really, really, really, really sick, remember? 
But I'm not sick. And you're not sick."
Her: "But I don't want to die.  But I do want to go to heaven where Daddy is."

Big tears well up in her eyes. 
"I want to see Daddy.  But I don't want to die.  I want Daddy to see this (she holds up her stuffed animal) but he can't see it. And I can't see him.  And I really, really want to see him."
Me: "I think Daddy can see it honey.  We can't see Daddy right now, but I think Daddy can see us, just like Jesus can see us.  And someday we will get to see him when we get to heaven.  Daddy will be waiting for us and he'll give you a big hug and say, There's my Peanut!  I've been waiting for you!".

Marley: "But Mom, I don't want you to die. And I really miss Daddy and I want to see him." 
Full-on tears are streaming down her face.

What do I say, Lord?  She's only three. 
She doesn't understand that we will all die someday. 
And she doesn't need to worry about that right now, right?

Me: "I'm not going to die, baby.  I'm going to stay right here and take care of you.  Cause you're my girl, and it's my job to take care of you.  I'm not going anywhere.  It's me and you."
A little smile emerges through the tears. Then...

Her: "I'm hungry.  Can I have a chocolate shake?  But I still miss Daddy."
Me: "Of course you can.  And I miss Daddy too, a lot."

Those were the hardest five minutes of my life as of late.  Whew.  Just when I think she's OK and has a handle on things, she comes out with something that knocks my socks off.  I'm glad that she feels free to talk about it, and I try really hard not to let my pain and emotions get transfered onto her, but I also want her to know that I'm sad about Jim too. 
I hope I'm doing this right. 
How does one help a three year old cope with the death of someone dear? 
It's been just over eleven months since Jim died. 
Will we ever stop hurting this way? 
I don't think so.


  1. Okay, now I'm bawling like a baby. My heart breaks for you and Marley. It sounds like you're doing a great job, Megan. There is no instruction manual for these things, but if you continue to look to God for guidance, you'll be fine. I will continue to pray for your strength and healing. Big hugs!

  2. oh my gosh girl,i cant even imagine how you must be feeling.i have tears in my eyes as i read this.and while i dont know the exact pain you two are going through,i do care so much.hugs to both of you first off.as to how to help her understand-well you seem to be doing it- ask God to guide your words and heart! as to the part about will it ever stop hurting well i guess yes and no.i would say its like this.....ok you know how it felt when you had the miscarriage.the pain was so hard in the begining.you may have been like me and really had a hard time with the pain of the loss.then as time went on you never forgot that child or what you went through but you coped with it differantly and in time it became easier.i would say it is something like that.you both are still grieving.it takes time.its so hard. especially when you have moments like these.BUT just keep doing what your doing and God will give you the words and the strength you need to get through it.Love ya girl and im praying for you.

  3. Wouldn't it be great if grief could be easier? My heart aches for the two of you (particularly while my tears are flowing after reading stories like this one), and I pray for you both ... often.

    I'm sure that, in moments like these, it feels like the pain will never end. At other times, I suspect that it's a bit easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel. At whichever place you are, keep holding onto Jesus. If you let Him be your strength and your light, you can't go wrong.

    I pray that you sense God's tender love enfolding you and Marley. That you remain unwaivering in your faith. I pray that you and Marley continue to have the rapport that I see here. And I pray for wisdom and strength for you as you strive to do your best as Marley's Mama.

  4. God Bless you Megan! I think you answered perfectly! God will continue to give you the answers to those tough questions that I am sure she will keep asking completely out of the blue. I don't know about the kind of grief you are going through, but I'm sure that even though it will never go away, I know it will get easier, especially if you continue to lean on Him for your support. I love ya! jen

  5. Oh, Meg. I don't have words...again. I love you so much and hate that you and Marley are suffering from the brokenness of this world. One day every tear will be wiped away, Jim and you and Marley will be made new. One day. Lord Jesus, come quickly.

  6. Good gosh... I don't know how I would have handled it... but my thoughts were exactly the same as yours before I read your words. "Thankful that she can talk about it".

    What a gift - to have those happy memories and to know that this is not final.


What's on your mind?