We have just heard that our neighbours little girl is dying. She is nearly 3. We are all devastated by the news as you can imagine, but what is really upsetting me is the thought of her getting to heaven and missing her mummy. Any thoughts?
I hope you will find the strength to be a great support for this poor family. I don't know if they are spiritual or not, they may find it comforting at this time, or they may find it not at all comforting.
I have known a small number of people who have lost their children, some have turned towards God and some away. It is totally devastating and there are probably no words at all to describe it. The one thing that seems to come across though is that parents do want the opportunity to talk about what has happened/is happening.
Could heaven possibly work in a way which would leave a 3yo missing her mummy? I don't think there is one single agreed way in which heaven works, we just don't have anything to go on beyond a promise that there will be some kind of continued existence after the death of this body. But I think you have to assume that if there is a heaven, and a God who loves us, then it's going to work in a way which doesn't make anyone sad to be there.
Personally, I have an idea of a "new life" after this one, but where everyone who ever died and is going there will all "arrive" at the same time, so nobody is going to be conscious of waiting for anyone else to get there.
Alternatively, maybe once you arrive in heaven you automatically get a more "serene and philosophical" way of looking at things so that you won't be upset at the idea of people carrying on without you, or of them not being there yet.
So, I don't think she'll be suffering, however it works. It's her parents who are going to be hurting, and maybe questioning their faith (if they have one). plus obviously its a real shake for everyone around, its just a terrible thing to have to face.
AMumInScotland I love your idea of us all arriving there simultaneously. That is beautiful. Of course it is the most devastating thing for parents to lose a child, and I think as Christians we have to be very careful not to over simplify things, but simply listen and be alongside if we can.
There is a verse in the Bible which says....
... in 2 Peter 3:8 in the New International Version (NIV)...
"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day."
My thoughts are...We can draw near to Christ in this life and get strength from him, but we can't assume everyone will feel able to do so in the same way at the same time. I am just thinking that sometimes the pain is so raw that over simplyfing can be hurtful.
Totally agree with AMumInScotland, that it is just a terrible thing to have to face.
Thinking of you * SarfEasticated* and hope your faith (if you are a Christian) can help you to support this family in their time of need.
Our neighbours are at the hospice with her, so I doubt I'll see them much until it is all over. It's just such a horrible situation that I am trying really hard not to imagine how they must feel, so I can make it through the day at work. Your thoughts have really helped ms, so thank you so much.
What ever your faith SarfEasticated you can be of practical help if the situation with this little girl deteriorates. Having someone making cakes, dropping in a casserole, mowing the grass, feeding the cat is really helpful but be guided by the parents in what they need.
Like Dione and AMum, I believe she will be fine, and surrounded by all those she knows and who love her in heaven. Whatever heaven is, it is "eternity" and not part of the way time runs and behaves here for us. All things are together in heaven with God - there is no waiting for others to arrive because heaven doesn't run on "human time". I was very glad to be able to talk to my Mum as she was dying and to reassure her that where she would be going, we would be there already and with her forever. We will never be separated from her. The only separation is for those who live on in earthly time. In our time, here on earth, we have not died yet - but in God's time we are already in his presence and with our loved ones.
I wish you and this little girl's family and the community of friends around them all comfort and peace and support in the coming days.
In Heaven I believe we release things such as attachment to one person...and all of our relatives are waiting for us. Of course when her Mummy gets there, they will be reunited and all the love will be remembered and enjoyed again....but for now, once she's there she will be carefree and happy. xxx It's very hard to think of this. I'll say a prayer for her and for her family. God bless her.
I have not lost a child but my parents died when I was very young so I have unfortunately had some experience with grief. I think as someone mentioned it's very important to acknowledge the loss and not cross the street because you don't know what to say. Or not stay in touch for the same reason. Everyone grieves differently so let the person in grief lead the way.
If they do mention anything about their loss that does mean they want to talk about it. If they don't want to talk to you about their loss they will not mention it. So if they start to talk don't shut them down or disappear but listen and make sure you are putting them first in the conversation - not butting in with your ideas and interpretations. Someone sharing their grief is a very sacred thing and it's an honor to be with them in that moment. Love them.
When I did share a lot of grief with a friend of mine (years after the events) she was really wonderful. She didn't try to give any answers she just listened and was very loving and caring. She had not had any kind of major loss but she was able to be open and vulnerable to those who had.
Listening to another person with an open and non-judgemental mind and heart can be very healing for them.
There can be lots of complex emotions mixed in there such as shame and relief and we need to let people express themselves without judgement and in confidence.
Thanks for your comments - I don't think she does have any relatives waiting for her which was my worry Neo, but I think my whole belief of heaven was rather stuck in how I imagined it as a child, but your comments on time and eternity have really helped me.
Honey I was thinking about this today, how out of love for their daughter that they will want her loss acknowledged rather than not talked about. They live in the flat upstairs from us. They are a constant in our lives, as soundproofing is pretty bad. We hear when they snore, or when their daughter wakes in the nigh, when she bounces a ball in their hall, or falls over. The silence is deafening without her, and the thought that won't we be hearing her any more is heartbreaking.
Although we are physically close we usually just chat with our neighbours in the hallway, rather than spending lots of time together, but I often contact them to say we are thinking about them. Her dad emailed us to tell us the news and his email was so full of admiration for her, and sorrow that she won't reach her potential, and won't ever get to be the amazing person that she would have become. No thought of their own grief at all. It was really humbling.
Sarfeast I lost my own daughter a year and a half ago, she was seven weeks old. I felt very strongly at the time and still do feel that she has never really left me. And things my sons have said at various times make me feel that my Dad never really left either and that he and dd are together and that he is looking after her but I still think she knows I'm her Mum. At the beginning I used to ask for specific signs from her and I usually got those very signs. I also got a sign for another bereaved Mum who was feeling very sad and hopeless at that time. My own belief is that "Heaven" is not a separate location but that it encompasses this universe. We can't see them but they can see us! The only thing I would say is that belief is a very personal thing and although I felt ( knew?) that my dd lived on elsewhere, after she died, my MIL's view on things and "God's plan" really, really grated on me. I really wanted to tell her that God could stuff his bloody plan if it left us so unhappy. So I would be careful of saying anything like that to the parents in case it doesn't go down well. They will need your practical help, your love, your hugs and lots of tea! And if they need support, we have a lovely Bereaved Mums thread here which I found to be a lifeline and still do.
Ahh chipmonkey so sorry to hear of your terrible bereavement. Your beliefs sound similar to mine. I really believe my grandparents are near me too, and other relatives I may not have even known, it's a real comfort isn't it. I really wouldn't try to inflict my views on them. The mother is Japanese and i wonder what her beliefs will be. Something that gives her peace I hope. It really is like staring into the abyss thinking about how they must feel. I will email them again. Thanks everyone