A couple of years ago, I had a friend whose adult child died in a car wreck. I wanted to attend the memorial but had Rosie with me (I had visitation). When we parked at the funeral home, it went like this.
Dad: “Stay in the car with Uncle Andy.”
Rosie:” I don’t wanna.”
Dad: “No really, you have to.”
Rosie: “But I want to come with you.”
Dad: “Rosie, there’s a dead guy in there. A real dead guy.”
Rosie: “I know that Dad, I gotta come with you.”
I weighed the pros and cons. Is she old enough? Is anyone? Ever? “Please, can I come?”, she said.
Walking across the parking lot, Rosie said, “It’s all right Dad, I’m here for you.”
I HAD TO TELL YOU THAT STORY, TO TELL YOU THIS ONE.
After that we were driving home. Just me and Rosie in the back seat, in her car seat. The drive home consists of about 30 minutes down a dark desert highway. Rosie usually sleeps. But not this night. Out of the darkness her voice is quite clear. She was around eight years old.
Rosie: “Why do they wear a suit before they close the curtain?”
Rosie: “I said that wrong. Why do they have to wear a suit before they close the box?”
Dad: “Box? You mean the dead guy?”
Rosie: “Yeah. Why do you have to wear a suit if they’re going to close the box and no one will ever see them again?”
Dad: “Well, when Jesus comes back all the dead people get to be alive again. So when you meet Jesus, you would want to dress up in your Sunday clothes huh?”
A couple of minutes of silence.
Rosie: “Do girls have to wear a suit?”
Rosie: “In the box, do girls have to wear a suit?”
Dad: “No dear, girls and women wear dresses.”
Rosie: “Who picks the dresses?”
Dad: “Well, sometimes the person picks the dress or suit. But mostly, family picks for them.”
A couple more minutes for silence.
Dad: “Yes Dear.”
Rosie: “I’ll pick a good suit for you.”