"Mommy. You want play the Mommy and Daddy Game?"
"Sure Brandon. How do we play?"
"Well, you are the Mommy, I am Brandon, and Daddy is dead because he isn't here."
You can imagine how I felt when my 4 year old son said this to me. It eventually turned into a talk about his Daddy in the Stars. He said he wanted to throw a party because maybe he would come down from Heaven to visit if we threw him a party. I had to explain that it wasn't possible for him to visit that way, but he can always visit us in our dreams.
I always knew the day would come where he would start asking about his Daddy in the Stars but because I am remarried and he has a Daddy here on this Earth I didn't think it would be so soon. But he has been talking so much about death lately and his Daddy in the Stars, I knew a conversation that a 4 year old could understand needed to happen.
I never really told him his father was dead, I have always said that he had to go up to Heaven and be with God. However, we do go to church every Sunday and I am sure that the subject of where someone goes when they die has come up. Thankfully you don't have to tell a 4 year old much for the conversation to be over, but it was still hard, very hard.
As a parent you never want your children to feel pain or their feelings to be hurt. But when one of the parents dies, it is almost inevitable. No matter what age they are when their parent dies they will experience some sort of hurt from it. I consider myself lucky in a sense. Even though my son wasn't able to build a bond for very long with my husband and doesn't remember him, I am glad he didn't have to experience the pain when his father died. He was oblivious. He was almost one at the time and about a month or so after his daddy passed he stopped asking for him and saying "dada". The pain he will experience is more of a wondering pain. Wishing he knew him. Wondering if he is just like him. I am hoping how my now husband and I are handling things will ease that a bit. We show him pictures, talk about him, and always welcome questions. We even tell him things like, "Your Daddy in the Stars use to do that", or "You look just like your Daddy in the Stars".
I always want his memory to be alive in my son and want my son to know just how much he was loved by his Daddy in the Stars as well as his Mommy and Daddy here on Earth.