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.