I have been thinking a lot lately about faith, and religion, and in particular: Heaven.
I have never been a religious person. I wasn't raised that way, and have never felt the need for religion. I could never get on board with the whole "dude with a white beard in the sky who made the whole world in 7 days" thing. I mean no disrespect to anyone who does believe in God or other deities, but I just have never felt the need or desire to have religion/God in my life. I have just lived by the Golden Rule, and thought that I wanted to be a good person because it feels good to be kind to others, not because I was afraid that I would be sentenced to an eternity of Damnation if I didn't play by the rules. And, so far, it has worked out pretty well for me. Until now...
I am not really re-evaluating my views on God and religion, but I am having trouble with where I think Love is right now. I used to think when we die, that's it. We're done. Gone. Finito. And I guess I am lucky that I haven't lost anyone before close enough to me for that to really bug me. But now it does. I don't like the thought of Love being "gone". I like the thought of her being in a better place. Or waiting for me somewhere where one day we will be reunited. That thought is more comforting than that she ceases to exist. The thought of her being gone from this world and any other that may exist leaves me cold and empty inside.
And then there is what to tell my son. I still don't think Avery gets that he has a sister who is dead. We don't talk to him much about it, but I don't hide it. But, with a 2 and a half year old, it just doesn't seem to come up that often.
Yesterday he was watching our digital frame that was scrolling through our pictures, and the ones of me holding Love at the hospital just after I had her came up. He looked at it and said "there's Mommy, and there's Daddy!" He didn't say anything about the baby in my arms. But one day he will. And then what?
I don't really feel comfortable saying that Love is in Heaven, because I don't believe that. Or, at least not the "Heaven" that is referred to in a religious context. But I also don't really want to tell him that she is dead and gone and that's all there is to it. Because that seems a little harsh. And also, is that all there is to it? I don't think I want to live in a world anymore where that is true. I want there to be more. But just because I want it to be true, doesn't make it so. I mean, I can't just "make up" some other option. It is so confusing.
I don't really know yet what I will say when Avery asks about his sister and where she is. I guess I will come up with something. Hopefully I will have a little more time to turn it around in my mind until I can find something that feels right. Fingers crossed.