A couple days ago my sis-in-law was trying to see how her oldest daughter was coping with my mother's passing. Sis-in-law was curious because there weren't any bouts of sadness or sobbing. My nieces and nephews call her "mama".
This is their conversation....
Sis-in-law: Are you okay? Is there anything you want to talk about?
Niece 1: I'm okay (shrugs)
Sis-in-law: Are you sure? How do you feel about mama's passing?
Niece 1: Well, do I have to be sad?
Sis-in-law: No. You don't have to be sad. You feel however you want to feel.
Niece 1: I'm going to miss her but I'm not sad because I know she's okay. And... I know I'm going to see her again.
And just like that, the conversation is over and there is no question that my 12-year old niece understands what is going on. I will follow her example and trust in the sure knowledge that I will see my mother again. I choose happiness and celebration!