Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Will the baby kick when we visit Cara?

We were on our way to deliver flowers to Cara's grave that our friends A, R and their boys J (5) and T (3) who were visiting from out of town.

I was riding next to J in the car when he turned to me from his carseat. "Will the baby kick when we visit Cara?"

"Yes," I said. "She loves when we go to visit Cara."

T asked, "Mommy, how did Cara die?" I heard R from the backseat, "Remember what Mommy told you? Cara was in Aunt Cynthia's belly and she had to go to the hospital so the doctors could help get her out."

J and T were trying to process the situation around Cara's death as best they could. When we got to Cara's grave, we all sat on the ground around her little space. J looked at me and said, "Is the baby kicking?" I said, "Yes, she gets excited when we are here."

His replied, "Well she shouldn't, because Cara is dead."

It was obvious that R and A wanted J to be sensitive to us. His comments didn't bother us at all, because we knew he was just trying to understand the situation. A pulled J into his lap, and J asked why there were two crosses on Cara's grave.

A went on to give a mini-children's sermon to the boys about death. He asked them why it was important that there would be a cross on Cara's grave. They said because Jesus died on the cross. And then he asked what happened. They said that Jesus went to heaven.

A told them that's why it was so special that Tim and I visit Cara on Sundays, because Sunday is the day we celebrate the resurrection. He shared how Jesus said that one day we will all be raised and that our bodies will be healed at which point, J asked, "And we'll get to hold her?"

I kept myself together until then, but the thought of getting to hold Cara again sent me into a downpour of tears. I watched as R responded the same way. Tim came and sat next to me putting a hand on my leg. The three of us sat that way as we watched this lesson unfold for the boys.

The boys asked how old Cara was and we told them she was just a baby. "Not 1?" the boys asked. We explained that she was alive in my belly for 9 months.

It was the first time Tim and I were really confronted with the grief of our daughter through the eyes of a child. We are so thankful that our friends were sensitive and open to discussing it with their children. It helps us to see these tender moments, because we don't know how we are going to answer these questions. The boys had been asking me some questions when R and A weren't around. I struggled to find answers for them and also wanted to be sensitive to the responses their parents would give. R said to me later that she often doesn't have an answer, because frankly we have all have a lot of questions about Cara's death.

We ended our time around Cara's grave with some belly rubs to feel the baby's kicks. J was scared to feel the baby move, but T got a little baby bump. They are sweet, sweet boys and we were thankful for this moment with them around our daughter's grave.

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