4 years ago: Falling flat

July 2, 2009, on this blog: Falling flat

So the past week has been full of questions. PopPop was with Grandma now, the girls were told, and they’re both looking down, free of pain and disability and dialysis, watching your swimming and softball, happier than ever in heavenly bliss.

Really? The girls, to their credit, are skeptical. What do these people mean when they say Pop is with Grandma? And do I really think he somehow saw the bed and the pictures and flowers, that he somehow knows how lovely the room was? Where is he now? What happened to him? In that sleep, what dreams may come?

These are questions I can’t answer. None of us can. And so I tell what truth I have.

“I don’t know.”

Not good enough, of course, for them or for me. And so the children demand to know what I think — what I believe or guess or hope. And not just the children.

Here I can do only slightly better. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,” St. Paul wrote in response to just these questions, and God help me the best story I know about such unseeable and unhearable things is Flatland.

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  • David_Evans

    Let this atheist be the first to say (this year!): that was brilliant and it brought tears to my eyes. It will stay with me.

  • Carstonio

    While I don’t know what Fred means by unseeable and unhearable things, I can appreciate “PopPop was with Grandma” in metaphorical terms. The idea that the loved ones we have lost continue to live in our hearts and memories may sound trite, but it does capture how we feel when we lose them.

  • Jurgan

    Oh, this one makes me cry every time. I read it to my family after my grand-mother’s funeral.

  • SisterCoyote

    I’ll echo Kit on this one. I hope the love is a stronger memory, now, for you and your family, than the grief. And I believe that’s still the best way to explain such a mystery.