Heaven and Hell

“What does heaven mean?” T recently asked me during bedtime.

I believe in God but am apprehensive about organized religion.

I had a hurtful experience with church in my teen years but I still believe all paths lead to God or however one calls them.

I believe that those who politicize or weaponize religion cause the greatest evils in our world.

I will encourage T to keep an open mind about religion as he grows up and to learn about all religions. He can decide what works for him.

But in the meantime, I had this pressing question from my inquisitive 7 year old – and my mind was half passed out.

I gave what I felt was a balanced answer: “Some people believe that heaven is a place you go to after you die.”

He sat in silence for a few seconds and then replied in typical T style, “What the hell did you just say?”

I had to stifle my laughter because I didn’t want to reinforce that kind of language we’ve already been struggling to contain.

At least he knows the opposite word for heaven!

Speaking of death, T’s fascination with cemeteries has resurfaced. He always notices them during our local drives and road trips.

During our recent drive to the Bluffs, we passed by a few cemeteries and sure enough, he spotted them and asked what they were like inside.

I reminded him that prior to the pandemic, he had visited my Pa’s grave many times. But he clearly forgot about these visits.

He asked if we could visit the cemetery where he was buried and I said we’d to take him this weekend.

During bedtime this week, he asked me interesting questions like: did all tombstones have RIP written on them; what bodies look like underground; and whether someone will come clean his tombstone when he’s dead and buried.

It was not exactly the most upbeat conversation, and I felt bit sad talking about it, but I answered each question candidly, because it’s important to validate his thoughts.

The hubby wasn’t concerned when I spoke about it with him afterwards. He thinks T is being curious.

During bedtime last night, T asked me in his hilariously blunt way, “So how many more days until we visit your dead Papa?”

As with everything in our life with T, you gotta laugh at these unintentionally absurd moments.

I told T he would’ve loved my dad, because he was kind and caring. Similarly, I think Pa would’ve been very amused by our T.

21 thoughts on “Heaven and Hell

    1. His zingers are not quite at the Hawklad level yet. But with some practice, he’ll get there one day! 😊😆

  1. I think heaven is with God and hell without.

    5 days a week I help out 3-4 hours in a public elementary school, about an hour each in K-2nd. The 2nd graders are respectful yet restless. I love em all- kids need warm somebody’s.

    1. Thank you, Arnold. People who work with and help care for children outside their homes are truly doing God’s work in my opinion. 🙏

  2. This made me laugh too, He sat in silence for a few seconds and then replied in typical T style, “What the hell did you just say?” T’s words are so honest, frank and innocent. My last trip to Moss Landing, I too got fascinated with the cemetery. It was so peaceful and made me reflect on so many things. Sorry about your bad experience with the church when you were a teenager. Catholic religion does have its negative side and easily scars our Faith and trust. God however is good because he continues ti reach out in many personal kind ways. The church sometimes forgets that it is the house of God that welcomes all and not of men with their subjective biases and discriminatory beliefs. Have a great weekend my Friend . Regards.

    1. Thank you! We did end up visiting my Pa’s grave today and it was wonderful seeing T bring new artificial flowers for him – which we change up every year – and help put it into the vase by his grave. There was a large family nearby burying a loved one. And there was music blasting Puff Daddy’s song. It was oddly a celebratory moment and mood. As life should be all about up until the very end!

      1. Yes, life and death should be a celebration, appreciation, and remembrance with love and thoughtfulness of People. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. There never seems to be a dull moment with T!! I have no idea how you manage to keep your laughter in sometimes. It’s amazing how curious and inquisitive kids are. I imagine it’s tough to answer some of these questions, but it sounds like you’re doing a great job. I like your approach of trying to stay balanced and let T come to his own conclusions about religion.

    1. The hot seat definitely is hard on some days and he keeps us on our toes for sure. But it makes each day fun and unpredictable.

      Happy Friday and nice weekend!

  4. I’m with Grace – I burst out laughing when I read that response!

    Sounds like a lot of the same questions that my 6-year-old asks so I do think that it’s just part of their curiosity too. Like you, I try to answer as best as I can without too much emotion or resistance.

    I’m sure your dad would have adored T. That’s probably a stretch for me to say but “knowing” you as the bridge between this fantastic kid and a kind father, I’m sure they would have been fast buddies!

    1. Thanks Wynne! Yes, it was very hard not to laugh and thankfully we were in a dark room during bedtime so he couldn’t see my amused face.

      I also think it’s general curiosity and I’m not too concerned at the moment with his fascination with this topic.

      Kids do keep us on our toes!

  5. i laughed out loud at his his response. At the same time, you may want to steer him away from obsession with morbidity if he goes that way, and steer him towards the natural way that we come and go into and out of this world. The kid is a gem.

    1. Yes, it’s quite the hilarious response isn’t it? 😆 We’re not too concerned yet as I think it’s just curiosity. But for sure, something to keep an eye on. We try to be candid and concise about the way life works. For instance, he knows that every day people get born, and people die, and it’s a natural part of “the circle of life.” A gem for sure! 😊

  6. T is so blunt, and honest. And innocent. I love it all. The way a kid his age should be! Funny, all the questions he was asking I would love to know the answers to as well! Awesome post!

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