Talking to Heavenly Father

In my presentations on Follow the Prophet, I explain that the Church music committee asked me to write a happy song. I tell the children in the audience that this was hard for me because my wife had died just two weeks before. I ask the children, “What do we do to get help in hard times?” They always know the answer, “We pray,” or the Spanish speaking children on our mission would say, “Oramos.” But last week I asked the question differently for some reason. I asked, “Who can help us?” This time the answers varied, “My parents, teacher, brothers and sisters, friends.” A little girl on the front row didn’t answer but she seemed deep in thought. I got down on one knee and gave her the microphone. “Who would you go to for help?” I asked. She shrugged. “How about Heavenly Father?” I prompted her. She nodded.

“How could you talk with him?” I asked her.

“You could die,” She replied. People chuckled. I smiled, and said, “That would be one way.” Is there another way?” We finally worked around to prayer, and she agreed that was an option.

After the show, a woman with gentle eyes and a warm smile came up to me. She said, “The little girl you talked with about prayer is my daughter. Her biological mother died five weeks ago.”

The scene came instantly into focus in my mind, and her answer made perfect sense.

“Where is Mama?” she had asked, and thought, and cried.

The new lady in her life had replied, “She’s with Heavenly Father.”

With a child’s straightforward faith, she held in her mind the picture of her loving mother talking to her Heavenly Father. She probably assumed (correctly) that one of the most important topics they discussed was how to help the mother’s little one get through this hard time. She probably didn’t think of this, but it’s true. The Holy Ghost was dispatched to console her and give her hope. Perhaps he helped bring the gentle lady who softly stroked her hair, provided a shoulder for her to cry on, and listened and talked with her at bedtime, and during the day when memories made her cry.

What a kind way for a loving Father in Heaven to help his little daughter through this hard time. And what pure faith she has to see her mother talking to Heavenly Father.

When Diane died, I read the advice of experts on how to help our children handle the loss. One authority said, “Level with your children. Tell them that mommy or daddy is dead, and is not coming back. Otherwise they will expect the person to return, and they will be disappointed.” But for me, that inference of death as the end is incorrect and misleading. If we do the right things, death is a temporary separation, followed by an eternal union.

I prefer my little friend’s perspective. Mama is talking to Heavenly Father, and one day I will talk with both of them again.