Friday, February 2, 2007

The Send Off Party

(Gracie & KK at right)

This week, I had to explain death to Gracie. William's grandmother, Kay Bell (better known to us as KK) passed way. KK loved her children, her grands and her great-grands to the fullest extent. Gracie was KK's only great-granddaughter and was wonderful at playing along with Gracie's imaginary games.

We knew this time was coming as KK's health had been going down since Christmas and she was put in hospice care. Gracie prayed for KK every night, asking God to heal her.

I woke up Tuesday morning to the news and asked the Lord to tell me how I could effectively explain KK's death to Gracie and do it in a positive way. I sat Gracie down and told her KK had gone to heaven. "But why, mommy?" she asked. "Well, because Jesus wanted her there with him. You'll see her again one day, but that probably won't be for a long, long time," I said. Gracie's face looked sad. "So mommy and daddy will have to leave in a couple of days this week to go to KK's send off party," I told her. Gracie's eyes lit up. "A send off party! Oh mommy, can I go?" she asked. "No," I said. "These kind of send off parties are for big people." With a big sigh of relief, Gracie didn't ask anymore questions and seemed satisfied with my explanation.

Today as I was getting ready for the funeral, Gracie came up to me and asked "Mommy, did God make KK all better?" "He sure did," I said. Gracie's eyes lit up once more. "Oh goodie! God healed KK! " she said while running through the house.

As Christians, funerals should be thought of as send off parties instead of the finality of life.

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