Last week, we lost a very dear member of our family – Maggie. My first baby, she was given to me as a present by Hubby (back when we were dating in college) and she was just the cutest mini beagle. She remained with us for 15 years and welcomed our marriage and two children along the way.
My children are young, but old enough to understand that Maggie is no longer going to be howling at dinner or cuddling with us on cold winter nights. She became very ill quickly and quite honestly, I never thought this day would come nor did I do any research on how to approach this issue with my children. I guess I was just in denial. Overcome with grief, Hubby and I decided to wing it when breaking the news to the children.
As to be expected, both children cried, but were far more resilient than we were. As I tried to explain that Maggie was now in Doggie Heaven my Little Man stopped me mid sentence.
“Mommy. There is no Doggie Heaven. There is a section in Heaven for dogs and now Maggie is there. She has little wings and looks down on us. And I can pray to Maggie and she will talk to God who will talk to Santa.”
“Dear Maggie, Please let God know how good I was and ask him to tell Santa to give me…….”
The list of toys stopped somewhere around five or six items and the tears were all gone. He seemed happy and at peace knowing Maggie was with family “up there” and her life had new purpose.
I always struggle with religion and the “rules” associated with our faith. But in that pure and honest moment, my Little Man – who is just a child – brought me peace and clarity with a very simple and honest thought. If I could just imagine Maggie in Heaven and content with her new home, I could cope with the grief.
Sometimes the most complicated issues are best approached through the eyes of a child.