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To Tell Their Story


“If you could ride on a cloud, where would you go?”

This question is posted on the door of the PreK classroom.  The children’s answers are quoted underneath.

“I would go to Grandma’s house.” ~ Jayden
“I would go to Disneyland.” ~ Zach
“I would go to the zoo.” ~ Amanda

And then there’s this one:

“I would take my mom and Tuck and we would go to the Kingdom of God for a visit with my daddy.” ~ Tyler

I can’t say I use the phrase ‘Kingdom of God’ very often (or ever, really), but we talk about heaven a lot.  It’s a very real – longed for – place for us.

My children are perhaps more comfortable than you are with the word ‘died.’  It’s because I taught them to say it.   Anything else is intangible, painting a shade on what is true, what happened in our home.

It’s part of my job as a widowed, single mom: to teach them the skills to tell what happened.

(“Passed away” is a gentle phrase that really means nothing to me.)

This isn’t just my story.  It’s theirs.  Their daddy died.  And if I don’t give them words to talk about it, then they won’t know how to say it.  It’s part of my job as a widowed, single mom: to teach them the skills to tell what happened, to tell their story, to tell the truth.

I read that and thought to myself, Goal accomplished.  My little boy can tell his story.  Other children make plans to go to Grandma’s, Disneyland or the zoo.  We make those plans too.

But Tyler’s not afraid to toss heaven into the list.  “My Daddy is there.”

As a bonus, I appreciate that he wants to take Tuck and me with him.

On our visit.

To the ‘Kingdom of God.’

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. When my son was 2 or 3 I asked him what he looked forward to doing in heaven. He said, “I want to sit on the lap of Jesus and see his king things.” :o)

  2. Perfect. I just read this to Dale because I knew he would like what you say about word usage. As a pastor he believes in using the word that conveys what truly happened. Use the true word. Someone we love just died. It is what happened. Anything else glosses over the person standing in front of you who just lost their love. Good job Tricia Lott Williford. I am so very proud of you. And, I miss you.

  3. all those comments?? ditto, ditto, and ditto…

  4. Love this one. I’d like to hang on to the edge of his cloud and catch a ride to visit a few people there, too.

  5. That is so beautiful Tricia. I’m proud of him too. 🙂

  6. What a blessing those boys are to us all, tears of sadness merged with great excitement about the future God has planned for them. Wisdom and knowledge beyond their years and such great faith.

  7. Goose bumps…..what a wonderful thing. You are such a wonderful mother. We should all long to be there.

  8. I absolutely love this.

  9. Wow! Did your breath catch as you read that? You really are “doing all things through Christ who strengthens” you.

  10. Tricia, the ways in which you’ve given your children language for their loss, “permission to speak and speak openly,” and done it so beautifully …. is, in a word, BRILLIANT. Loss comes to all children (not typically a loss as big as the loss of a parent, but losses, still). Over and over I have seen that it is not the loss/injury/hurt/wound/tragedy, etc that damages children longterm. It is HOW they are comforted, loved and guided through the loss that makes all the difference. Tuck and Ty are so blessed to have a mother who knows how to help them get through this with the tools of talking openly.

  11. I really love this….brought lots of tears. Yes, you have done your job, and I am so very sorry you have had to do it so well, if that makes sense. Can’t wait to see you at The Chapel. Love, Marilyn

  12. I love this. I love Tyler. (I love you and Tuck too, as a side note.) And you’re a really great mom, my friend. A really really great one.

  13. As I read your blog this morning, Tyler’s wish took my breath away! How beautiful that he is able to express his heart in this way. God bless you mightily for teaching your children the truth in words that are so real. Each day when I read your post I lift you and the boys in prayer. From personal experience I know how hard it is to be a single parent. I’m looking forward to your evening at The Chapel next month.

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