Sometimes, just like the other day, we meet people who don’t know that our son passed away. So they are all inquisitive about the family, and oh, “Where’s the boy?” or worse still, to Hetal, “Where did you leave your brother?”
Now those are difficult questions. How is Hetal supposed to answer that? And in a crowd setting, with many eager listeners, how are we to respond to that?
Those become very challenging times to deal with. Mostly, when we’re with my husband, I go blank. I don’t know what to say, and he ends up having to say something to clear the air. And then it’s awkward, and sometimes we just have to wind up the conversation quickly and go our separate ways.
Sometimes I’m alone when the question comes, and I have to be very tactful in the way I respond. The question could come at a down time and I have to prevent a situation where we both start crying based on how I respond. Sometimes I also have to judge how I’ll answer based on who’s asking.
Ultimately, I’ll end up mentioning it in brief and not wanting to dwell much on it. And nowadays, it doesn’t really feature in my introductions, unless it’s necessary. I just let it pass. It’s not easy, I do so with mixed feelings. I remember him, yet I know that by bringing up the issue about his death, there may not be much benefit to those around me or to myself either.
That way, I learn to choose who I have such conversations with. I am almost coming up with a standard answer. “Yes, we had a son but he’s now with Jesus.” That conveys the message, but also hope. And it doesn’t put the other person at a loss about how to respond. He’s still my son, and he’s receiving the best care possible up there in heaven. Someday I’ll join him, and it’ll be one wonderful day.