Too Complicated for Two

 While in Idaho last weekend we went to visit Miles' transformation place, aka his grave.
We told Vivian we were going to see Miles at his grave.
She was so excited. Her eyes were beaming.
She began telling us all the things she wanted to tell him.
She wanted to tell him about Papa's four wheeler, that she likes pink, about jumping on the trampoline and she wanted to show him her cut on her finger.
When we got to the cemetery she ran out of the car yelling his name with so much excitement.
Mark was sitting down by his headstone and called her over.
He said "Vivian come say hi to Miles."
Vivian just looked at Mark and said "No....I want to see Miles."
Mark again called her over saying "Vivian this is Miles grave, come say hi to your brother."
Vivian just looked at us confused and said "No, I want to see Miles. I want to see Miles grave."
We both stood there as our eyes flooded and the rivers began streaming down our cheeks.

Mark and I looked at one another and tried to figure out how to explain this to her.
How do you tell a two year old that her brother is buried deep in the ground?
We didn't want her to freak out and start digging away at the ground in search of him.
(Although there are times I have thought of doing this myself.)

Meanwhile she kept asking where Miles was.
So I told her that we put Miles in a very special and beautiful bed, and that he is sleeping in that bed down in the ground. 
I told her that he would be sleeping for a long time, but that one day he will wake up. 
That when he wakes up our family will all be together again and it will be such a wonderful day. 
And that on that day we will all hug and kiss and have so much fun together.
It will be a day of laughter, fun and full of so much love.

It seemed to help to point out the little boy holding Jesus' hand etched on his headstone.
We have this same picture hanging up in our home, and the little boy looks so much like Miles.
Vivian thinks it's Miles with Jesus.
We always tell her that Miles lives with Jesus now.
I'm so glad she was able to make that connection and in some way it brought her some peace.

I'm not sure what and how much she understood or even understands about any of this new life of ours.
But she then began talking to Miles and showed him her cut on her finger.
Then she went over under a large pine tree and began picking up pine cones for Miles.
Both of them love gathering pine cones, sticks and rocks wherever we go.
She placed one very carefully on his headstone for him.
It was such a tender moment.

Oh how I wonder what goes on in Vivian's mind.
What does she think of all this?
It seems as though she understands but doesn't understand at all.
But I feel the same way a lot.
Is so complicated for a two year old, or anyone for that matter at times.

It was Clara's first visit to Miles' transformation place.
I'm sure she already knows Miles.
Although they haven't met in this physical world, I know that they have met. 
That their spirits know one another and that Miles is an angel watching over her and all our children.
But it was surreal seeing her sitting by his headstone.

Our visit was very beautiful but very heartbreaking at the same time.
This is a small part of our complicated new lives.
I've since realized that one day I have to tell my sweet children what happened to their big brother.
That's going to be a really hard day.
What will they think?
I hope they don't get mad at me or think I'm a bad parent.
I'm not looking forward to that day. Too complicated.


  1. I think this is such a sweet experience for your family. I love that sweet, peaceful place at home so much more than I ever have. I love that Miles is next to his great grandparents. And I love that Vivi knows that he is with Jesus and Clara will learn that too. I also know that they will not think you are a bad parent. You and Mark are by far some of the best parents that there are. I am sure that is why you were entrusted with such a sweet and tender experience in raising Miles for the short time that you had. We love you and your family so very much!

  2. You show your children every day what great parents you are. They've known it since before they were born and they know it now and they will still know it then. They will never think anything differently.

    I love that Vivi gave Miles a pine cone. Too precious!

  3. Hard moments. You and Mark share great faith, and continue to raise your children with such faith. There will never be any doubt in their minds or hearts of your love for each of them.

  4. Such a sweet and tender post. Your little children are so lucky to have such dedicated and loving parents. So very blessed, and here we are learning from you. I loved watching Mark fanning little Clara as she slept in that hot chapel last Saturday. Such a loving thing to do on such a hot day...even though he was hot, too. You guys are great!