I have been mentally writing this post for a while now, unwilling though to sit down and type the words.
Truth has been a very straightforward concept for me for quite some time, and I have put its importance at the top of the list. Friends know that if I don't want truth, I will bluntly say so -- "Tell me this skirt doesn't make me look like a cow." Otherwise, gimme the truth. And I will give it to you.
But in some certain arenas, my opinion about truth is a bit more fluid.
My father tells of the time he had his tonsils out, as an adult. The regular recovery floor was full and so, ironically since he couldn't talk, he was put in a ward with men who had had eye surgery and couldn't see.
Each of them was bandaged up, completely blind. One morning, an janitor came through, cleaning floors and such. One of the men asked him, "Hey, what's it like outside?"
The janitor said cheerfully, "It is a bright and beautiful day, gentleman. Flowers are blooming and birds singing."
My dad stared, speechless both by surgery and by what the man was saying. Was he crazy? It was rainy and grey outside. Completely miserable!
The janitor went on, "Here comes a young mama walking down the street, pushing a baby carriage. Ooh-eee, she is switching her hips side to side, just sashaying. What a pretty sight."
My father moved his eyes from out the window and onto the faces of his fellow patients. They were all smiling, their faces lit up. Nodding. They could just see it.
What happens after we die?
The Boy asked me that, a few years ago. Actually, born UU that he is, I believe he phrased it as, "What do you think happens after we die?"
And he and I talked about different theories and agreed that neither of us had a strong belief one way or another.
The Princess and I have also had a few of these conversations. Never been a very pressing thing, more just interesting discussion. They've enjoyed stretching their minds to come up with all kinds of ideas.
And we always came back to a good-natured, "I dunno," followed by a smile and a laugh.
If I knew that LW was going to leave us, as a child ... if she and I were talking about the end, would I give her that kind of answer?
No. I can't. Between developmental stages, wanting to give her something good to hold on to ... and wanting to give myself something something to hold onto, I would not go with vague answers.
We would talk about heaven. And seeing each other again.
I'm getting some picture books. About heaven. So that she and I can talk about what heaven is like.
Maybe when she's 6 or 7 ... or when she hits 5 years off treatment ... we can talk about whether it exists.