In anticipation of visiting the cemetery on Easter (it's a Easter tradition to take the lilys from church to the gravesides of the loved ones for whom the flowers were dedicated), Bryan and I thought it would be best if I took Jonathan by myself beforehand, so that I could answer any questions he might have outside the earshot of Nana (and Bryan, too, for that matter). Jonathan has been past Granddy's grave, but had not gotten out of the car. After careful consideration, we've decided to tell Jonathan (who knows but does not really understand that Granddy has died) that Granddy's grave site is the special place where we can leave flowers and go to talk to Granddy, sort of a designated spot where he knows where to look for us.
Yesterday afternoon after Jonathan's nap, I told him we were going to visit Granddy and then we would go to the park. Jonathan picked out his clothes, choosing his firetruck t-shirt because "Granddy likes firetrucks." We then went to Kroger and picked out flowers. Jonathan carefully perused the options and chose pink carnations. As we drove to the cemetery, we chatted about Granddy. It was a cloudy day and Jonathan explained to me that Granddy was in heaven and showed me a cloud that he is on. According to Jonathan, Granddy has his own cloud that he stays on most of the time but he can move to other ones when the clouds bump together.
Bryan and his mom have yet to pick out and order a gravestone, but there is a vase for the flowers. Jonathan carefully arranged the carnations:
He also gave them a sniff for good measure:
Then, in a move that completely melted my heart, he told me I needed to be quiet so he could talk to Granddy:
As I wiped tears away from my eyes at the sheer sweetness of my little boy, he looked at me, with much this same face, patted me on the shoulder, and reassured me that Granddy is in a better place because he doesn't hurt anymore.
Maybe he understands it more than we know.