swinging on a star

Yesterday, Nadia asked me, “What happens when we die?” as both she and her brother, Ayden,  were sitting on the swings, and I was pushing them into the air.

I do not know why I said what I did, but I said, “Well, we begin with Love…we are with God and he asks us if we want to go on vacation to Earth, and then we visit awhile, and then one day our bodies become old and we go back to God.”

Nadia said, “But I will miss you, Nanny, when you die!”

Of course, that tender response brought tears to my eyes, so I added, “Well, I will always be with you, Nadia and Ayden, because then I will be an angel watching over you.  And you just need to remember that I am there…”

Ayden persisted, “But then do we become angels too? I am a boy…can boys be angels? Every picture of an angel I see has long hair and looks like a girl!”

Nadia chimed in, “An angel? Really?”  She was definitely more enthusiastic about being an angel and was laughing with delight, “Then I can fly like the birds into the sky?”

I addressed Ayden’s question first, “Ayden, yes boys are angels too! Some artists are still learning to draw! There are boy angels! When you are an angel, you can visit anyone anytime…you can float on the clouds…it will be a wonderful party.”

Ayden seemed relieved and he said, “You mean, I can fly like a bird too?”

“Yes, Adyen! High like the eagles!” I said enthusiastically.

Nadia said, “I am still little. I don’t want to die yet.”

To this I replied, “I do not want you to die either, as I would be very, very sad and miss you!  But  I am sure you will have a long life.  I plan to be around for a long time…so we will have lots of fun!” It was getting a bit serious for me–and I realized that we were discussing a very important concept for them.  I did not want them to deny their perceptions of death, that there is suffering, but there is also much more than that! But we cannot accept life, without accepting that death is a part of life—yes, too deep…too deep for me.  All this is running through my brain, and they were persistent in wanting answers.

Then Nadia said, “But what about our bones?”

“Well, I began, “Do you know how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly?” [thank goodness for Dora the Explorer and the science channel that they both love to watch! Ayden wants to be a Zookeeper! and Nadia is convinced she wants to be Rapunzel– the beautiful princess with the long, blond hair!]

Both responded, “Yes!”

Well, that is what happens when we die; we become an angel, our bones stay behind, and just like the caterpillar turns into a butterfly, we turn into angels and then we live with God in Love.”

They were swinging into the air and they seemed content and I was content.

Wooden Angel Stock Photo

32 thoughts on “swinging on a star

  1. safi4775 says:

    Just love this 🙂


  2. Mich Smith says:

    Lovely story!!


  3. danaiana says:

    Very pleased to meet you! I’m finding your blog both fascinating and interesting. I look forward to learning from it.
    Have a nice day!


  4. cobbies69 says:

    What a wonderful story, Johann,, love it. 🙂


  5. tigger0198 says:

    so well explained to a child !!!!


  6. This is so sweet and so impressive dear Jane! The nicest and sweetest way I’ve ever heard to explain death to children. You can write a book for children based on this story. With children’s books few pages of text are enough, as pages can be covered with illustrations. So just adding some more detail, like giving a character to the caterpillar, explaining its life and the transformation etc. would be enough, and if you need an illustrator you can count on me!


    • oh, thank you so much, Mary…I was hoping I was honest and still said it in a comforting way as I explained it to them. Your words literally make me feel better about what I said. I am grateful to you!


    • Great suggestion! Yes, children’s books are best simple…maybe that would help us as adults too? LOL…sometimes I get carried away and repetitive. Thank you for your very kind words about this piece. It was delicate…and I am glad they were on the swings, enjoying life as we discussed it…it was the perfect setting that the LOVE of the Universe provided for us…Thank you for your very kind comment and visit…and all of your visits to my blog! Yes, I can definitely see YOU would be the perfect illustrator!


      • You’re very welcome Jane, your kind and sensitive soul pours love and peace into your words. It’s my pleasure to read your beautiful, inspiring posts whenever I find the time.
        And yes, many books for children are great for adults too! Like “the little prince” and many others! Thanks for the credits, I love to illustrate books for children, I have illustrated some many years ago, but had to give up for the lack of time. However when a story inspires me a lot, I can overcome any obstacle to illustrate it!


  7. Yoshiko says:

    Wow. I never think of that now we are like caterpillar 🙂 Great explanation


  8. tersiaburger says:

    Jane what a beautiful post!! Your grandchildren are blessed to have you!


  9. glkaye2013 says:

    Lovely response to your grandchildren. And all were content.


  10. Jane: It would be difficult to be anything other than content after this honest yet pure and delicate conversation about death. I do hope you are planning on publishing a book, ‘Conversations with My Grandmother.’ (Title choice I would expect to be changed.).


  11. The kids are really angels 🙂


  12. clarabetty says:

    Dear Jane: Your stories with your grandchildren are precious and so are they and so smart, beyond their years. And I think you could write a great children’s book about Conversations with Grandmother or Conversation with Grandchildren. I would be careful in telling them that you will become an angel or they will. Angels and humans are different beings according to the Bible with different jobs and will never turn into the other. I know a lot of people make this mistake. We can make Heaven a beautiful place to be without them having to be angels- we will always be what we are, but with a heavenly body, not necessarily a angelic body. Hope this does not offend you. We tell our children and grandchildren so many little white lies, about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny that they find out, before they are very old are not true: the things about Heaven and the hereafter should not be like that.


    • No, you do not offend me and I hope I do not offend you with my understanding of the Bible. I really do not know what form we become when we die–I see us more as a crystal of light energy– I do not take the Bible literally, and I think we differ on that point. I see the Bible as offering an insight into a way of life and the history of a people in a relationship with God and Jesus. Since there were not tape recorders, and each Gospel story grows in length depending upon who is telling it, I tend to think that much has been added on according to the storyteller. I think there are many good lessons taught in the Bible–but I see GOD as LIVING and LOVE in each being…not necessarily in the Bible. For example, Leviticus has many things that are NOT loving. I do NOT think God wishes the death of anyone and I think there are instances in the Bible, where I would not agree it is from God, but more from the person wanting a certain outcome. As in the battles with the enemy–just like in today’s society—the Israeli people are now killing the Palestinians–I do NOT think that is from God. If the situation were reversed, and the Palestinians were killing the Israelis, I would not think it was from God. God is a Loving Entity of Peace and Hope. People cannot use God as a justification for their evil ways. For example, a tornado is coming my way–and I pray,”Oh God, do not let it hit us!” and so the tornado hits the next town and kills a hundred people! Do you really think God would do that? I think if we perceived GOD as a Loving Being and each of us living within God and called to be loving and kind to others, whatever form, that is all we are called to be and do in this world.


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