Thursday, April 14, 2011

What does it feel like to die?

As Austin and I drove home from school today, I asked him about his day. We talked briefly about his friends, the playground, the sand in his shoes, and the spring program scheduled for this evening.

After some quiet moments, Austin asked me a question. "Mom." He said, "What does it feel like to die?"

I paused.

We talk openly about life with Austin. We talk openly about death. We pray nightly for his grandpa who is fighting a very difficult journey with multiple myeloma. I want Austin to always feel comfortable asking us about anything, so I answered as honestly as I could.

"What does it feel like to die?"

"I don't know, Austin." I began. "I don't know what it feels like to die... I think that it probably hurts for just a second and then you don't feel any more pain. I believe in heaven, Austin. So, even if death hurts for just a moment, you will never feel pain again and you will be so happy."

Austin sat quietly in the backseat for a long time.

I wondered if I had said too much.

I wondered if I should have eliminated the word pain from my explanation.

I wondered why he was asking me about death.

"Mom, I don't think death is like that." He began slowly.

"I think that death is more like jumping off a diving board...

You are so scared...

and you don't want to do it...

but once it's over, then you are just so happy,

and you realize that you had nothing to be scared of in the first place."

and then we both just rode in silence.

"What do you think, mom?" Austin asked.

"Do you think that's what it feels like to die?"

I don't know sweet boy, but I do know what it feels like to receive the wisdom of God through my four-year-old son...