Have you ever experienced how incredibly blunt a young child’s questions and comments on the subject of death can be? As our family was travelling the long car ride to my grandmother’s funeral, my older children were stifling their laughs at four-year-old Josiah’s comments.
I, in my rather emotional state, was also chuckling at his matter of fact pronouncement of, “Mom’s dead.” In his own way, I knew he was busy processing his own grief response.
After all, he and Mom had a sweet little relationship. At every visit she commented on how big a boy he was becoming and he would respond with a sweet kiss on her wrinkled cheek. She loved him dearly and he had returned that love.
Sitting quietly on the front row of a funeral service is a tall order for any active four-year-old boy. But since I was busy helping with the service, Josiah took his seat on big brother Lucas’ lap right up near the open casket. No worry, though, because his wisely experienced, middle-aged Daddy was nearby in case of any behavioral trouble.
Just as the service was about to start, Josiah’s little four-year-old mouth had been silent all it could take. He had been staring quietly at the casket for some time reckoning with his own deep thoughts. As the funeral director came forward to close the casket, Josiah sighed and announced in a rather loud voice for his seat mates to hear, “Boy, I just wish we could see her legs in there!”
Big brother Lucas and Daddy Doug were now in trouble in the front row. Hilarious laughter erupted from their silent mouths. They covered well though. So much so that my mom went scurrying to their assistance with Kleenex thinking they had been overtaken with a wave of grief!
Mom Renshaw would have loved it! She would have needed more Kleenex to cover her laugh than both of those two put together.
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