Yesterday was the anniversary of my dad’s death. I say death, and not passing, because death sounds like a harsher word. And it is a harsher word; it speaks the hurt that happens because of it.
Since I was feeling quite down, I thought the best thing would be to talk to my sons about why I was feeling sad. I didn’t want them to think it was about them, and thought I could share a bit about their grandfather with them.
So Hudson sat with me and I told him that I was feeling sad because my dad, his grandpa, died on this day a few years ago.
Hudson didn’t know quite what to make of that. So he tentatively asked, “He…died.” I said yes he did. He said, “Like this”, and proceeded to make a face with eyes closed and tongue stuck out. I said yes like that, and thought maybe having this conversation was a bad idea.
The next 10 sentences we shared together I doubt I’ll ever forget. They sound made up, but they were true and unforced and untouched. I believe God can speak to us through anyone, and I think he chose to speak to me through my son. And this is what he told me, and why I think sometimes 4 year old are closer to God than anyone.
He said, “It’s okay dad to be sad, but just for a little while. I miss grandpa too. He loved me, and loved to scoot me around and he loved you. Grandpa told me I was special. I miss him too. So you can be sad because he died but just for a little while.”
I asked him why just for a little while. And this is what he said, “Because daddy, Jesus died too right? (I said yes he did). But Jesus is here now. He’s alive. He told me so, and so did you. So grandpa is with Jesus now. He died and is living just like him. He’s here too, and he loves us daddy. So its okay to miss him, but it just for a little while because he’ll be back again right…just like Jesus”
And I said the only thing I could think of, “Of course you’re right Hudson”
Hudson then gave me a big hug, and said “I love you daddy, and I love grandpa too” And then because he is also a four-year old he asked if we could play trucks tomorrow, and if Jesus had wings, which we then talked about.
I write all this because sometimes in the hard times, you just need to be reminded of what is true. And sometimes that takes a 4-year old who remembers what you teach him, so he can remind you of what matters.