Ava has been caught up in heaven, dying, cemetaries, and the finality of it all. That is my adult way of putting it. She has her innocent, child's view of it all. Ever since my "B-I-L" Mikey's grandfather died back in the fall of '08.
She felt like he was her "Popeye" too. The conversations are always mixed with a little silly, but lately she has started getting a little sad and scared about it too.
She use to just kid about Popeye coming back in a hot air balloon or her riding to space in her rocket ship to visit him. She sometimes out of the blue will tell me she misses him. Last weekend we stopped by Mikey's Aunt Michelle's house and when we were leaving Ava said, "Poor Aunt Chelle". I asked her why, and she said "Because now she is all by herself since Popeye went to heaven." I assured her that Aunt Chelle had plenty of family and friends that are always visiting her, but it still just tugged at my heartstrings.
Her thoughts about death and dying are changing lately. Now that she realizes that people who die really aren't coming back, she has started saying things like, "I am not going to heaven." And, "Mommy I never want you to go to heaven, ever!"
She is scared of the thought of the people she loves not being with her. Well, so am I!
I want to reassure her that when people go to heaven, it is so great, that they don't want to come back. But still...she's 4 years old...thats hard to wrap her head around. And the truth is, I don't ever want to be here on earth without her, but even that scenario means that she will experience one of the greatest heartaches known...losing her mom.
Her little innocent comments have gotten me all stirred up. I know as she gets older her understanding will grow and change, but how can I take away the fear of death and dying? Truth be told, it still scares this 30 year old mom too!