Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Taking 3 year olds to the cemetery

Ever since our cat died last June, nearly every time the twins come to visit us,
the conversation nearly always goes like this, practically word for word:

Téa doing the talking with Jonas standing by her side.

Téa: "Where is the cat?"

Me: "She died."

Téa: "Oh! How did she die? Was there blood?'

Me: "No blood. She was very old and she died."

Téa (never satisfied with my answer and always wanting more drama)
"Did she run into the street and a car hit her and there was blood everywhere?"

Me: "No. She was just very old so she went to heaven."

Téa: "But she will be fine in a few minutes."

Then I go on to explain that she is fine, but she is in heaven, etc etc.

However Sunday night Jonas interjected something that he has never said before.
He had a hard time getting it out since there were many Ds in the sentence,
but he said it slowly and thoughtfully:
"My Dad's Dad died."

So naturally the question I asked him was, "How did he die?"
Jonas stood there, and just looked at me. Nothing else came out of his mouth.
I was not sure how much his parents had told him about his Grandpa's death
or how much they wanted him to know, so I just left it alone.

But I did start thinking that perhaps now would be a good time to take the twins to the cemetery.
I texted their parents in Vegas, and Amy said they were totally fine with it.

So yesterday I explained to the twins that we were going to see their Dad's Dad's grave.
Jonas said he didn't bring his church clothes. I told him no problem,
we don't need church clothes for the cemetery.

Den tried to explain a little about what to expect during the car ride there.
They were both very quiet and listened.

We were the only ones at the cemetery, which is often the case when we go.
The twins noticed that right away and said, "Where are all the people?"
Before I could think of an appropriate answer Dennis said, "They all died."

The twins noticed the flowers on graves, 
so suddenly they got it in their heads that they wanted to collect sticks for their "Dad's Dad."
.....they don't quite understand yet that he is also their Grandpa.

 They would go way over to the other side and collect all they could and bring them back.

As they were getting all their sticks, Jonas would often stop to stare and ponder.
At least that's what I think he was doing.

Then it was back to work again.

They said they were making "decorations" for their Dad's Dad.

They built quite the tribute to their Dad's Dad!
I'm sure he loved it too....much better than flowers.

 To lighten up the morning we took them to one of their 
favorite places for lunch that Jonas calls, "Open and Shut."
Or known by others as "In and Out Burger."

 Téa looks more concerned about the lunch, than she did at the cemetery.


grandmapeg said...

What a nice tribute to their great-grandpa, for them in their own way to decorate his grave. They are growing up too fast!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! This is so sweet. I love how they were able to go see their grandpa's grave and do something to help them feel better about death. I imagine they will do it many more times if given the opportunity. Wonderful.

Scrapally said...

What a sweet day. thank you for sharing it!

Kris said...

Oh my goodness.... I'm so touched by this post. I think they is so sweet how they wanted to gather sticks. I'm glad you allowed them to do that because it was something tangible for them.

Karen Mortensen said...

What a truly sweet post. Thanks for sharing this one.

Grandma Honey said...

Not their great grandpa...their grandpa...the grandpa they never knew, at least not in this life. I know it gets confusing. :)

Rebecca said...

This is just the most tender post ever! I loved it. I just KNOW their grandpa is loving his memorial they build. Is there even anything more sweet than little children? I don't think so. I love that concerned look on Tea's face. So fun!

Darlene said...

Tea really looks like she is studying that meno completely. She has such a serious look on her face. Those kids are so darling, Jill. I know how much you enjoy having them visit you.

When are you going to explain to them about Grandpa? Surely they know about Grandparents.......I hope so, being a Grandma myself, and a great grandma too, I'm so glad they all know about me, even the greats.

I loved the way they wanted to decorate the grave with sticks. That was something else!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I loved this post. Dennis hiding behind the menu, the pink bathrobe, and the kids gathering sticks to decorate Bill's grave. After a long hard day, it was good to laugh! That is what i love about children, their innocence and goodness!I wonder what other people visiting the cemetery thought of their stick pile!
Peggy Sue

Mar~ said...

Wow! I love the "decorations for their dad's dad!" What a sweet tribute. They will remember that day.

Ammy said...

That is so hard to explain to little ones....especially when I have a step dad that my girls call papa...but he's not my dad. They finally get it but it took a while. I think teaching them when they are little is good.