Ugh. How does a 4-year-old make more sense out of this than an adult?
So, I thought for a minute about how I can make this seem better than the horrific event that it is. By this time, my 4-year-old son came in and I filled him in. Then, I told them that, yes, he would like being with God. Cousin Richard was a carpenter, so I told them that God is the Master Carpenter, and that I am sure Cousin Richard will learn so much from God about building things. I also told them that Cousin Richard was a very good singer and that he would be singing with the angels, for sure.
Then, the Heaven questions started, like “Will he eat in Heaven?” and “Will he move in Heaven?” and “Is Heaven in the sky?”
This all made me cry more, but also laugh at the same time. I thought it would be traumatic for the kids to see me cry, so I spent most of the weekend planning fun Christmas outings, like visiting Santa (where I actually laughed when the baby cried … classic first-time Santa visit), and seeing the Christmas lights at the botanical garden. I also went shopping and bought three pair of shoes. That did not make me feel better, but it got me out of the house and kept me from breaking down in front of the kids. Turns out, it’s not traumatic for them to see me cry. In fact, I should have let them see me sooner. They made me feel better than anyone could have.
The sadness is still very much in my heart, but for a moment I can be happy for the peace I am sure he has found. Rest in peace, Cousin Richard. Your infectious smile will be missed terribly.
For Cousin Richard Paulsen, March 14, 1972 - December 1, 2012
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