A few weeks ago, our dog Max died. It was unexpected and a very sad event in the Gilbreath household. He got very sick after a long walk and died in the middle of the night. Josiah was completely unaware of Max's passing, but Eden knew something was wrong the next morning.
I sat her down and told her Max had died. "Oh" she responded sadly. Then a few moments later she asked, "What's died?" So I tried to explain on a three-year-olds level death and heaven. She solemnly responded. "That's not good." I said, living in heaven is good, but the people left behind are sad because they miss the person or pet that died. I showed her the picture of my grandmother that is in her room and explained that Granddot was in heaven too. I told her I missed Granddot very much, but that she was happy in heaven. "Are there toys in heaven? she asked. "There is something even better in heaven," I told her. "Jesus is there!"
"Jesus lives in Heaven?" I smiled as she stated to understand a little of the Gospel. I shared with her that Jesus lived and died for our sins. That sins are bad things we do, and they separate us from God. But Jesus paid for our sins on the cross. If we believed in Him, confessed our sins, and accepted him as our savior we would live in Heaven with Him too. She seemed content or maybe overwhelmed with my answer. And she went away and played.
During lunch, Eden kept saying. "Max died and is in Heaven." and I would say, "yes, Max died and is in Heaven." Then Eden asked, "Mommy, will I go to Heaven?" I couldn't hold back the tears at that point. I said, "Yes baby, I hope and pray you do go to heaven one day."
"Me too Mommy."
Will I go to Heaven? Oh the depth of that question! I long for my children to know and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. While Max's death was a said thing, I am so glad it opened Eden's heart for conversations about death, Jesus and Heaven. There were small seeds of Truth planted in her heart that prayfully one day will lead to a relationship with Jesus.