The funeral rites and laying in state of Grandma had just concluded. Nene, grandma’s youngest and favorite grandchild was yet to fully grasp what was actually happening. She ran to meet Reverend Father Paschal, who had just celebrated the funeral mass; he welcomed her with a broad smile and a warm embrace.
Immediately, she asked the priest “You said Grandma was sleeping, why is everybody here? They didn’t come to see her when I used to sleep with her in the same bed. And when will she wake up?”. The Priest kept smiling, although he was shocked, he picked his words carefully. “Nene, Grandma will not wake up”
Nene’s confusion began to increase. “Why will you call it sleep when she will not wake up?”. Fr. Paschal decided to use another approach “Mama will wake up somewhere else, she will wake up in heaven”…. “Oh, is it like when I sleep off in the sitting room and Grandma carries me to sleep in her bed?”… “Yes, now you understand it”, the priest responded with a little relief.
“That means you know where my Grandma is and you know who took her?”… “Yes, Nene, I know where Grandma is and Jesus came to take her”. “But why?” Nene asked again.
“Jesus came to take her because she was a very good person”… The priest replied. “But during the mass, you said that Jesus came to wake Lazarus from the sleep because he was a good person. Why did Jesus not wake up my Grandma?”. This time, the priest took a deep long sigh, then he looked at her lonely eyes and the spoke “Nene, Jesus did not wake her because he took her to a better place”.
“Will Jesus come and take my mummy and daddy too?”… “No! “, the priest replied already building up a temperament. “But you said Jesus comes to take good people to better places, and my daddy and mummy are good people”.
“Nene, Jesus will come to take all of us one by one. He will not take your parents now. And he will not take you now. We have to remain good people for long time before he will come for us. You might even a mummy or a grandma before he comes to carry you…so try to keep being a good girl okay?”
“Yes father. But I am a good girl. I have always been a good girl. My parents tell me so. Even Grandma always says so. Why did Jesus not carry me when he was carrying Grandma too? We sleep in the same bed. That is not fair”.
This time the priest replied her with a tone; “Young woman, Jesus is fair. He will get to your turn before you know it. It is only fair that he does”.
Nene did not understand what she was hoping for. All she wanted was to be where her grandmother was. She smiled with relief that she priest had told her that Jesus will come and take her soon.
Then she asked the priest one last question that kept bothering her… “Father, did Lazarus ever sleep again after Jesus woke him up?”.. “Yes, he did”. “Why did Jesus wake him up if he was still going to sleep again?”
This time, the simplest words failed the priest. “Nene, you will understand better when you come of age”…