“But why mommy?”
Two beautiful but tear soaked brown eyes stare up at me.
“Why did Nini have to go to heaven?”
I wrap her tearful body into a hug, unable to answer the question that I too am struggling with.
“Honey I don’t know why Nini had to go to Heaven. I only know that God decided it was time for her to.”
Sobs shake her little body.
“But I don’t want her to! It’s not fun if Nini’s in Heaven.”
Looking at her tear streaked face is like looking into a mirror of all the emotions swirling around inside of me.
“I know baby. It’s not fun. I don’t want her to be in Heaven either.”
I pause. Searching for words. Any words.
“But we can still talk about her”
Small consolation to the little girl before me.
She looks so tiny as she sits on her bed.
“Does Nini still love me, even in Heaven?”
Her voice is almost a whisper.
“Of course she does! Oh honey Nini will always love you.”
“I still love her too.”
There is silence.
Little hands reach out to the pictures on her teddy bear.
“What is Nini doing, in Heaven?”
I am searching for words again. Words appropriate for a three year old.
Words to take her pain away.
“Well… What do you think she’s doing?”
“I don’t know.”
Tears fill her eyes again.
I look at the teddy bear wearing three meaningful pictures.
“Maybe… Maybe she’s sitting by the beach?”
She sits up a little straighter.
“Yes, maybe. The prettiest beach of all.”
“Do you think… do you think she’s finding seashells?”
Her voice still just above a whisper.
“Oh I bet the prettiest seashells of all!”
She stares at the picture.
The one of her and Nini sitting on the beach.
What Nini loved best of all.
“Of course for you. And all the best colors. Pink and purple and blue…”
She sits straighter still.
“I’d like that.”
She gives me one more hug, somewhat comforted,
if only for the moment.
Her eyes are dryer now.
She holds the bear a little tighter.
“I love you, Mommy.”
“I love you too, sweetie.”