How do you tell a 4-year old kid that his dad passed away? That he will no longer wake up?
When I arrived at the hospital this morning and opened the door to their room, my nephew saw me and immediately exclaimed “Hey tita! My dad is dead look!” I gave my sister a hug and when I asked her if she has eaten already, I heard my nephew telling his dad to eat. I went to him and told him we’ll buy food for his mommy.
On the way to the restaurant, my nephew kept on asking why his dad is dead; Why did God take him away from them; He said he hates God for calling his dad; Doesn’t He know that he loves him?
I am Agnostic but I tried to explain that God called him because he is sick and He does not want his dad to feel any more pain. I told him that his father is now with God because He loves him and in heaven, there’s no sickness or pain. We told him that his father will hear him, even if we cannot; That he is now an angel. How else can an Agnostic explain? I have no idea.
I don’t think he understood everything we’ve been trying to tell him the whole day. I don’t expect him to, he is just 4 years old.
When the chapel was sorted and we were just getting ready to leave, he approached me and told me he wants to say goodbye to his dad. I held his hand and went with him to the mortuary where his dad was wrapped with a white blanket on top of a stretcher. He went around the stretcher and said, “Bye! See you tomorrow.”
When he was about to go outside, he saw family members who just arrived and he showed them where his dad is. Mamita came in along with her daughters, my sister and my parents. They prayed over his body and I was hugging my nephew the whole time. Everyone was crying and I was not sure he understood what was happening but I can see that unlike everyone else, he’s trying to fight his tears from falling. You see, he’s like me; he will hold back his tears and put up a brave front for as long as he can but I told him it’s ok to cry. Still, he would stop each tear from falling by wiping it from his face.
When it was time for him to put holy water on his fathers forehead, I noticed he was letting his tears fall now; he did not bother wiping them anymore and my arms was already wet. He went to his mom, placed holy water on his fathers forehead and he quietly went back to his seat, wiping his tears. I went to him and hugged him and he stopped crying for a bit. When he saw his father is being wheeled to the other room where he will be embalmed, he sobbed. I told him that it’s ok to cry and that he can say goodbye. He held my arms as if to support himself, looked at his dads body and waved…probably too consumed with emotions to even utter a word. My sister approached him and told him that they will be ok.
My heart broke.
I gave him ice cream before sending him home. But that scene and this day is etched in my memory forever. This is the day when my nephew tried to remain strong and acted beyond his years.
Ron/Gob, I know that you did everything to make sure that your sons future will be covered and he’s one of the reasons why you fought so hard. We know you wanted to get married when you’re better but even without that, know that you are family. We also want you to know that we will take care of Lucas and that he is loved.
You will be missed.