Hayden has what I would call a "beginners" understanding of heaven. When his puppy Abby was gravely ill, we worked to help him understand, through all the sadness, why she went away. We talked to him about heaven, and why God sometimes takes people (and pets, in this case) when they are hurting or when it's just their time to go with him to make it all better. He loves us so much, that at times He chooses to bring us home to be with Him when He's ready for us.
When "Big Papa" Wolf went to be with the Lord last August, Hayden experienced a cemetery for the first time. Now every time we drive by one, he points to it and says "Look ... there's heaven ... and Abby and Big Papa are there with God!"
This morning after daddy went to the church I talked to Hayden about Uncle Tom, and how he went to be with God too. Our conversation led to some monumental discussion, and what an incredible God we have that could bring it through such a time of grief ...
Hayden: "Is Uncle Tom with Big Papa and Abby and Jesus now?"
Mommy: "Yes, Bubba, he is."
Hayden: "I miss Abby ... but they'll feed her and she'll be super happy. Is she in the garage in heaven? I want her right now.
Mommy: " No Bubba, she's not in the garage."
Hayden: "But where is heaven? I want to go there."
Mommy: "I always thought Heaven was way up high, past the stars and the sun and the moon, but you know what ... God is everywhere ... when you are sad, He is right there, and when you're really happy, He's there too. You can ask Him to be by you all of the time and He will be right there!"
Mommy: "If you believe in God and Jesus and be the great big boy that they ask you to be, then you'll go there too someday, honey. Do you?"
Hayden: "Yes. They love me lots. I want to be in heaven some day when I am super old, with Abby and Big Papa, and Uncle Tom."
Hayden: "Can I take my cool cars and dirt bike with me? Does God drive cool cars?"
Mommy: "I'm not sure, Bubba ... we'll talk about that later." "Do you know what we can do right now?"
Mommy: "We can lots of people about God and Jesus and ask if they want to go to heaven too."
Hayden: "With my Abby!"
Mommy: "Yes, bubba!"