She died on January 1st, 2006, and our oldest son, Jack, was almost 5. I'll never forget our conversation the morning after... when I had to tell him that Great Annie had died:
Mom: Remember how I went to the hospital with Great Annie last night?
Jack: Yeah - is she sick?
Mom: Well... she died, honey.
Jack: (yells) THAT'S FANTASTIC!!!!!!!
Jack: (still hollering) SHE GOT TO GO TO GOD'S BIG PARTY?!
Mom: (now ready to cry at this excited display of emotion) Well... yes... she went to Heaven to be at God's big party.
I then explained that the little hospital she was at had air-lifted her by helicopter to the big UC Hospital...
(please forgive the all-caps... but he really was yelling...) :)
Jack: (now clapping too) WHAT A GREAT DAY FOR HER!! SHE GOT TO RIDE IN A HELICOPTER AND GO TO GOD'S PARTY ALL IN THE SAME DAY?!? WOW!
Isn't that just amazing?! Here I was with this jagged grief-hole in my heart, and my son was giddy... jubilant... ecstatic that Great Annie had not only gone to Heaven to be with Jesus... but had ridden in a helicopter to get there!!
And, isn't that how we all should be when a loved one dies...? When we know that they have flown off to Heaven to the biggest and best party in the universe hosted by God, Almighty, himself?! I try to hold onto my son's words when I hear of someone's passing... because out of the mouth of a child came true wisdom that day. I have no doubt that God gave those words to my son... to help lessen my grief and to show me that in death, there IS eternal life.
If this blog has touched your heart, please leave a comment below... it makes me feel like someone is reading it!! THX! :) - Mags