"When Pappa come down from the sky...."
This is how Anja's questions start. I gently remind her every time that he wouldn't be coming down from the sky, he can't come back. She refuses to believe. Its normal for a 3 year old not to understand the permanence of death, but its cruel. Cruel that she lives in hope not realizing that her hope, her dream, can never be true.
She sobbed on Tuesday night "I want Pappa back!!". I cried with her, for her.
"Jesus isn't real", she said, "you just say He is to make me feel better."
I sat there stunned. I thought we adults had the corner on doubt. I was wrong. We talked, I asked more questions and explained again about heaven, about Jesus.
"Then I want to go to heaven. When can I go?" Again, stunned. I had no answers. I still don't have any.
I remember the week following Jouke's death. I slept on the floor in their bedroom as I wanted to be near them and because I just couldn't sleep in our bed. One night Anja, then only 2, asks me to bring her a bucket. Thinking she is sick, I run. When I get back, she takes the bucket and tries to make herself be sick. After a while she hands the bucket back. "Are you ok? Do you feel sick?", I ask. "I just want to get this yucky out", she says "just want this yucky out."
How I wish I can do that for them. How I wish that I could take the yucky out and make it all better.
Problem is, death is the one un-fixable in life.