I love to talk to Joel about his brother, Gabe. I wouldn't ever want him to hear about him from someone else, and to think, "Why didn't anyone ever tell me I had a brother?" So, we keep photos of Gabriel around our house and love to hear just how Joel remembers things we've told him about Gabe's short life.
The other day, Kyle was feeling sad, so I simply explained to Joel that sometimes Daddy is sad because he misses Gabe. And sometimes Mommy gets sad, because she misses Gabe. Joel just sat there and thought for a second and then spoke up, "I have an idea! Why don't we all just go up to Heaven to be with him??"
So, tonight as I'm getting Joel ready for bed, I asked him if he remembered his brother's name...
Joel: Yes, Gabe.
Me: That's right. And where is he?
Joel: In Heaven.
Me: Yes, he is. And do you know why?
Joel: (Thinks for a minute...) Because he is with Jesus, and they love us.
Me: (Stunned after that short and simple explanation...) If anyone ever asks you where your brother is, you can tell them that he is in Heaven, and he's not here with us because Gabe was very sick.
Joel: Momma, is Gabe a baby or a big boy?
Me: (Trying to decide how to answer...) He was a baby when he left us to go to Heaven, so he is a baby.
Joel: Well, when we bring him to OUR house, he'll be a big boy.
I was too stunned to continue our conversation. Wow. Well, yes he will. When we are reunited with Gabe, we will all be in Heaven. And the bible talks about having a glorious home there. What a nice picture - my entire family, together, forever.