Thursday, April 26, 2012



Kylie has been very curious about heaven.

Our conversation around heaven started on Friday 4-13 when I heard Kylie crying in her room well past bedtime.  "What is it darling?" I asked.  "What will happen to other Nana when she dies?" Kylie cried.

Kylie's Other Nana is Karen's grandmother.  She will be 100 years old in July.

After driving for 11 hours, I wasn't at the top of my game. I mumbled something like, "Don't worry sweetie. Other Nana will be in heaven when she dies and heaven is a fantastic place.  We will talk more about it in the morning."

Of course, first thing the following morning, Kylie was ready to hear all about it.

Hmmm....what does one share about death and the afterlife with a five-year old?

I told her that heaven was a wonderful place that we went when we died.  That it was filled with our family and friends.  That it was filled with love.  That there was no illness or sadness in heaven. That it could look like any of your favorite places--your home, your favorite park, the beach.

Kylie wanted to know if Other Nana would be in pain before she died. I explained about how Other Nana's body was getting tired.  That her body has been breathing and heart beating and pumping blood without ever having a break for almost 100 years (Kylie has also been very interested in internal organs and their functions due to her love of her Magic Bus Inside the Human Body book). I told her that Other Nana would simply fall asleep one day and would wake up in heaven. Easy peasy.

Kylie questioned Karen about heaven too.  Karen told Kylie about our soul/spirit and how it was the essence of who we really are.  She added that the spirit went to heaven and the empty body stayed here.  Karen added the tidbit that you could pick any age you wanted to be when you were in heaven.  So Other Nana might decide that she wanted to be 12 one day and 30 the next.  Kylie loved playing around with that idea.  That part really tickled her fancy!

Days later she wanted to know if all three of us--Karen, Kylie and Wendy--could die at the exact same minute so that we could all go to heaven together.  I assured her that we would all go together.

Kylie questioned her school mates about what they knew about heaven.  One of her chums told her that we become angels when we were in heaven.  So then Kylie and I discussed the fact that since we really didn't know exactly what heaven was like that different people had different ideas about heaven.  I told her that I didn't think everyone become an angel but that I could accept that other people believed it to be so.  I told her that even with people's different thoughts on heaven, it was pretty much agreed upon by everyone that it was a peaceful and loving place.

Kylie continues to ask questions.  We continue to calmly answer and reassure her.'s quite the experience.



Wendy said...

Wendy I can totally understand how hard it can be. My Granddaugther lost her Daddy at 6 months old and is quite happy with the explaination that he was an Angel in heaven looking after her. We then had problems when as part of school project they talked of who was 'your angel' in terms of who helps you out. As some people nominated teachers etc Beth was totally confused and wanted her Daddy back and why wasn't he here. We had a few weeks where we had to reassure her. I do know what you mean about difficult subjects

Stacey said...

I think you handled it well and said some pretty awesome things. I've had some discussions with Riley about death. I told her that we don't know when we'll go to heaven but hopefully when we're really old which means we will go first. I just figured if something were to happen I wouldn't want her to think we were supposed to go at the same time. But it's very upsetting for a 5 year old to think of us going at different times.