Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Heaven

My boss, his client and I were talking about life and death yesterday. My boss always says that he is not afraid of dying. Actually, he's looking forward to the after life. He believes in it. But his client was honest and said, "Oh I am the quite opposite. I am afraid of dying." Then she asked me, "How about you, Maki?"

My answer to the question was, "I am afraid of it, too..." and I am. Idealy, I would love to say that I am not. But I think I will never be comfortable saying that I am not afraid of dying until I know I've lived my life to fullest. I have two young children who need me. I want to watch them grow up, fall in love and maybe get married and have children. Yes, I would definitely want to be part of that. So, I still get nervous when I think about my own death. But at the same time, I know I shouldn't be....



After coming back from work, I was bathing the girls last night when my oldest Ju Ju asked me out of the blue, "Mommy, how come eveybody wants to go to Heaven?" I had to think for a good minute and still didn't know how to answer to her question...

As you many know that JT's uncle passed away last week. But before his passing, we've also lost several family members and a friend in past two years. She knows because we've always told her about it, saying that they went to Heaven.

When JT's grandma passed away two years ago, Ju Ju was 3 years old and Sophia was only 10 month old. We flew in from Hawaii to Florida when we heard the news that gram had a massive stroke. I still remember we visited her in the hospital while she was still conscious and the look of disbried on her face; she couldn't believe she's seeing our faces... JT and I went into the room first with Soapy who was still a tiny baby. Then we asked JT's mom to come in who was waiting outside of the room with Ju Ju - Mom wanted to make sure Ju Ju wouldn't get scared of seeing sick great-grandma... We had Ju Ju sit on the bed when she said, "Hi Andma... (that's how she called her great-grandma)" I could see a true joy in grandma's face - she couldn't talk, but she was so happy to see Ju Ju's face. Ju Ju was touching her andma's hand and kissing her hand. Then I saw grandma stroking Ju Ju's back of hair. It's glued to my memory and it will never go away - it was such a beautiful moment to witness...

Next afternoon, we moved her to hospice because that was her wish. Two days later, she was surrounded by all the people who loved her and passed away. A lot of people thought Ju Ju and Soapy shouldn't be in the same room, but I told them I want them to be part of it. And they stayed. She was not in pain and it was very peaceful - and I know grandma was not afraid. If I were to die, that's how I want to leave this place, surrounded by the people I love...

What I wanted to say is that I teach my kids "death" is not something to be afraid of or to be scared, but I am afraid of it. You see the contradition? In my culture (Japanese culture) small kids are exposed to family's death quite an early age. Our parents never shyed away from making me and my sis part of it when our grandpa passed away. So, I want to teach my kids the same.

I think I am afraid of unknown or the pain that comes with death. Life is full of surprises, so you never know how you will leave this place. That's what I am afraid of.

"Mommy, answer my question, why?" - Ju Ju asked me again. So, my answer to her question last night was this:

"Okay sweetie, when our hearts get tired, it stops working, (That's what I learned to say from childrent's magazine - if you tell them the person went to sleep, it would make them scared of going to sleep) and the thing inside of you (refering it as her soul) goes up in Heaven. That's where we all are going, so we can meet Andma or Daddy's grandpa or mommy's grandpa and gradma. It's such a beautiful place..."

Then Ju Ju said, "And we can play bowling together and have party? That's why?" I smiled and said, "yes, that's why..." (When our kids hear thunders, we tell them that their great-grandparents and other family memebers are playing bowling...) I think I'm gonna stick to the bowling story for a while...

So, everyone, are you afraid of dying or are you looking forward to the after life???

14 comments:

Dionne said...

I agree with you. I KNOW there's a Heaven waiting for me for when it's my time. I know that we each have a destiny, and when we've fulfilled that, that's when we'll go. But I am sad at the thought of leaving behind the things I love here - like Brian, and my family.

Laura said...

My husband is not afraid of dying what so ever, as for myself though, I have to admit that I'm a little scared. I'm working on that though.

kendrasue said...

Your post gave me chills. I have a little one that I'm sure will be asking questions like that soon and you have given me a good answer to use in the future. Sorry for all of your losses lately.

Elizabeth Marie said...

I totally agree with you Maki, I know there's a Heaven waiting. But I am terrified of death. I think I am more afraid of losing the people closest to me though. XO

Rachel said...

She is toooo cute!

Savvy Mode SG said...

to be honest, i don't know.

BakerGirl said...

To be honest... I'm scared of dying. I'm scared of not getting to do everything I want to do. I would hate to die and all I'd have to my name is "Well damn she could sell a wedding dress".

I've always believed that inherently good people go to heaven or it's equivalent. As a child I took a lot of comfort from the idea of my Aunt watching over me.
But now, I am really more of the mind that when we die we return to the earth. Perhaps there is no afterlife?

freeTEYme said...

I love the bowling answer. =)
I am not afraid. I just hope that when I go, i leave with no baggage left behind. =)

Nicole Marie said...

such a sweet answer to juju. i'm not afraid of dying i'm just afraid of not living life to the fullest and missing out on wonderful "life" stuff. and leaving my family.

Bayjb said...

Wow definitely a heavy topic. Personally, I'm scared but that's because I'm not totally sure what lies ahead for me. I just hope that wherever I end up, I'm happy.

Maki said...

Everyone: This is surely a heavy topic - but I'm glad to learn your take on the subject. I just hope that we all lead the best life possible and be happy at the end...

The Blonde Duck said...

Scared to death.

...love Maegan said...

that's such a tough question little JuJu asked ...wow, to be a mom.

Divine Mrs D said...

I am waiting for the afterlife, but there are moments where I fear the pain of death. And sometimes I even fear the forever-ness attached with life afterwards. But I love the bowling thing you've taught her. My family taught me that too. :)

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