Micah and I went to visit Evie's grave on Thursday. It was a beautifully warm and sunny day and he had a great time running around outside. I just sat on the grass next to Evie's special spot and watched him. For whatever reason I feel close to her there. It was nice.
I bought some lovely light pink and soft green carnation stems for Evie's vase. My intention was to buy a bouquet of mini roses, but the carnations were so beautiful and almost took my breath away.
Micah was very excited to add some dandelions to the bouquet because, according to him, dandelions are, "so cute".
I'm not sure what the protocol is for bringing kids to visit the grave of their siblings. Is it strange? Normal? A little of both? Because Micah and our future children will have a sister in Heaven, I hope it will help Josh and I paint a clearer picture of what death means to a Christian family. Death is sad and we will forever miss family members who are no longer with us, but it is also joyful because of Christ. This world is all about the next - a lesson I have learned (and continue to learn) as a result of my sweet girl, and I hope my children will too.
I didn't say anything to Micah today about dead bodies or being buried or anything like that. I simply told him we were visiting Evie's memorial - a special spot with her name on it where we could bring some pretty flowers. He was totally ok with that.
I was thinking a lot today about how to handle the whole death and dying subject as Micah ages. A story came to mind from Corrie Ten Boom.
Corrie was a young girl and asked her dad a specific question. He didn't answer as completely as she would have liked, and so she posed the question again. Her father's explanation was so wise:
Will you carry [the suitcase] off the train, Corrie?' he said.
I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
"It's too heavy," I said.
"Yes," he said, "And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you."
- The Hiding Place
My prayer is that the Lord will equip Josh and I to use our Evie to help give her siblings a greater picture of Heaven and eternity, but not give them more reality than they can handle.
For now I'll just appreciate the fact that Micah's understanding of Evie is pretty simple: She had to go bye-bye to Heaven with Jesus. And sometimes we can go visit her special place and run around in the sunshine picking dandelions. Simple and sweet.