“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.