YaYa came to my room just after midnight and asked if he could lie down in my bed for a while. Wanting to sleep for impacted with a new version of the same questions that have haunted him since his dad died. Death.
What if I don’t wake up? Will I be nothing… with no memory of you, BoBo… my family? Then….?
I think we ask these questions, although few actually come out and verbalize them. I thought of the prayer my parents taught me to say each night before I went to sleep. The words always left me feeling vulnerable rather than comforted. I often wondered if that was the point: keep us in fear so that we would behave ourselves.
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Of course, I didn’t want to see my boy in fear of dying… most especially right before he was settling down to sleep. But I was a bit at a loss for what to say other than sharing my own belief of life and death, spirit and everlasting life (whether it be in heaven or through reincarnation). And singing “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music hardly seemed fitting either. So, after listening and trying to comfort him, I handed him my teddy bear and began taking slow, easy breaths. And before long, he was ready to return to his own bed and go to sleep.