We attended a funeral service today. My 7 year old has been to funerals before, but she was much smaller and probably thought we were at some church. We have also been to "viewings" or "visitations" at the funeral home with both girls. But, we stayed on the other side of the room from the casket and really didn't mention anything about it. Our 7 year old, Sweetheart, is very sensitive. She has been known to break out crying over missing her grandmother. The one she never met. And she's serious.
But today when we entered the funeral chapel, she immediately spotted the casket at the front. "There she is! I see her!" she said excitedly. (She's obviously grown taller since the last time we attended a funeral.) She really, really wanted to go forward and pay her respects, or rather, SEE her. This was a dear 93 year old member of our church who had passed away. The great-grandmother of one of Sweetheart's friends. Sweetheart didn't know her, but we went forward.
We talked a lot today about how that was just her body and the part that made her Mrs. B was with the Lord. Sweetheart went on and on wondering what her NEW body looked like and could she see the video that they just played, and is her heart still inside her and I bet she's so happy to see my grandma and do you get your new body just as soon as you get to heaven or do you have to wait? I am exhausted of questions today!
I was relieved. The whole thing was not traumatic for her. She has a joyful outlook on the whole thing. That's not to say that she wouldn't be extremely sad if it were someone she knows and loves, but still. I wondered afterward what I would have told her if I myself did not have faith. Other children must have questions about death. What do parents tell them when they themselves don't know what they believe?
But we, as Christians, have this glorious hope in the Lord that even a 7 year old can understand. And so it was a joyful day.