Whenever I learn of the passing of a loved one, these words of Mrs. Eddy’s invariably come to thought: “When the light of one friendship after another passes from earth to heaven, we kindle in place thereof the glow of some deathless reality”. Our Leader also reassures us, “Where God is we can meet, and where God is we can never part”.
When speaking of little children, Jesus once said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven”. We had an experience many years ago, when our eldest son, Michael, was about 2 years old, which so clearly illustrated this pure childlike thought which so naturally imbibes and accepts the truth of being.
My husband’s father had passed on, and to all his grandchildren he was affectionately known as “Ganpy”, his wife being known as “Gan”. After Ganpy’s passing, whenever his grandparents came up in the conversation, we’d say to our son, “We’ll be seeing Gan today, but Ganpy’s gone away”. This seemed the simplest explanation to give to a 2-year old child, and we felt we need say no more for the time being.
One day, Michael’s grandparents came up again in the conversation, and suddenly I felt prompted to ask the child, “Michael, where is Ganpy?” He looked at me quite thoughtfully, and after a long pause, he said quite clearly, “Ganpy’s gone into another room”. Into my thought came Jesus’ statement, “In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you”. Without a word having been spoken to him, the child had understood that his grandfather had moved into another room, as it were… could no more be seen, but was still going on, living and moving and having his being in God. There was no hesitation about it, no grief, no sadness, no sense of loss…just the simple, childlike realisation of eternal Life, continuing in another room, or as we would call it, the hereafter.
When thinking of loved ones who have passed on, these sublime words from Hymn 218 never fail to comfort me: “The freer step, the fuller breath, The wide horizon’s grander view, The sense of Life that knows no death, The Life that maketh all things new”.