It’s a question that my toddler LOOOOOOOOOOVES to ask. Sometimes, I have the answer and he’ll ask, “Why?” We’ll go around and around with it until I say, “I don’t know.” I like to flip it back on him and ask him “Why?” and he’s often stumped and I hear him say, “Ummmmm…” And there are times that I don’t have any answers for him. Might as well be crickets when he asks me the inevitable w-word, and I don’t want to make anything up because I don’t want that wave of guilt that I kinda sorta lied to my child to creep up on me and pull me under. The other night was one of those nights where I couldn’t answer him, I just didn’t know what to say.
I’ve always spoken about my deceased brother, Andy. My son is not only named after him, but looks just like him. My mother gave me my grandmother’s photo album that she found, in it were pictures of Andy ranging from infancy to right before he passed away at the way too young age of 8. I had looked through it, found some of his old artwork and had to hold it together because this is the one subject that can make me lose it completely. All anyone has to do is talk about him with me and I’m instantly in tears. Being an adult and needing your big brother is something I was never warned about, or really just the pain of being an adult and not having him here with me.
I forget how he even remembered, I might have said something about Uncle Andy in passing to my son but the other night as I was getting him ready for bed he looked at me and said, “Where’s Uncle Andy?” I took a deep breath, and answered him with sincere honesty – “He’s in heaven, sweetheart.” And then the question came…”Why?” I was stuck in quicksand. I knew it was an innocent question, my son doesn’t comprehend heaven/hell/afterlife…he’s only two. The more I thought about his question, the more I remembered my therapy appointment last Friday and just what re-living the night Andy passed away had to me.
Why did he get taken away from me so soon? I have a hard time digesting ‘it was his time’ or ‘he served his purpose here.’ I know this is something that my Pastor has covered in church a few times. I know I can go to him for guidance on this subject just as I’ve done for other things. But this is one of those times where I just need to go through the motions of questioning why. I am not at peace with the situation entirely, but I’m no longer angry with God. I feel like I have no answers as to why he passed away. Sure, I could ask the one person alive today that was at the hospital with us when they said Andy was gone. I’m not looking for medical reasons. To be quite honest, I have no idea what I’m looking for anymore when it comes to this because it all ends in that question…why?