Are there car seats in heaven?

I almost guarantee that no one has ever asked you that question before.

After my baby daughter died, I used to go to the cemetery a lot. Not like every day, but probably twice a week or so. My 3 year old daughter would come with me, of course, and she loved going. It was like a park to her. She could run around and I could feel comfort in being there. Now I cry my eyes out every time I go, and it’s been 33 years. But back then I didn’t cry at the cemetery, especially because of my other daughter running around. One day it occurred to my oldest daughter that maybe it was icky to be there, because she saw some other visitors crying. She asked me in a scared voice if my baby daughter was there. I told her no, she was in heaven, and this was like a special park where she was so important that we put a pretty stone there in her honor. My oldest thought that was really cool.  She liked putting flowers there and balloons on my baby’s birthday.

One day she didn’t want to leave. It was a beautiful sunny day and it was a combination of the fact that she was having fun and don’t-do-what-Mom-says-no-matter-what. I, of course, won the battle of wills and into the car she went. During the next step where strapping her into the car seat was a power struggle (which I also won), she said to me angrily “Are there car seats in heaven? I bet my sister doesn’t have to use a car seat!” I stopped and realized how unique her perspective was. And it was lovely to be able to tell her that “Your sister is always safe in heaven.”

About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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24 Responses to Are there car seats in heaven?

  1. Cheryl Lagan says:

    How poignant! And sad. So sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Judy Barton says:

    Absolutely Heartwarming , Beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing this. It’s amazing the perspective kids have. Sorry for your loss

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Isabel says:

    This was beautiful, just like you are my friend. I know your daughter is safe in heaven because everybody there knows that they can’t mess with her mommy…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Garfield Hug says:

    I am sorry to read of your loss! God bless the soul of your daughter and I am sure she is having a blast in Heaven with God. Take care and be strong – Garfield Hugs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. L says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, Barb. Reading your post made me think of the Chinese way of honoring loved ones who have passed. My father began bringing me with him on these outings when I was maybe 4 or 5. You stand facing the headstone, light 3 incense sticks, bow with them 3 times, and then stick the incense in the ground. Meanwhile, you also lay out a little feast to feed your loved one in the afterlife: roast pork, duck, chicken, rice, and of course something to drink: water for my Nging Nging, whiskey for Yeah Yeah. Then you hang out and chill for a while. Start nibbling on the food. We also burn paper “money” and “clothes” so our family will be wealthy and well dressed in heaven. As long as you don’t start a raging, out-of-control fire (and it has happened), it’s really like a picnic. My cousins and I would run around the cemetery, or we’d all lay out in the sun, stuffed and content from the food and from spending the day together. From a young age I was never fearful or grossed out by going to the cemetery, it was just a fun day outside. These days, I bring beer on ice with a straw for my dad (that’s a weird Dad preference, not a Chinese one). I don’t know how to end this (and how did it get so long?). But I just wanted to tell you how beautiful your story was, and how I felt connected to it. Thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      This is so lovely. I would love for you to come with me one day and honor my daughter the Chinese way. You have to clue me in, though, on what Nging Nging and Yeah Yeah are. Thank you for you comment. So beautiful and I feel a kindred spirit. And she was just a baby, so no beer on ice with a straw!


      • Bea dM says:

        I wasn’t going to comment. It’s such a beautiful and personal story… But your “conversation” with L makes it even more touching. Thanks to both of your for sharing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        Thank you, Bea, we have plans to celebrate with her Chinese tradition this summer. What kind words, thank you.


      • L. says:

        Oops…. Well, better I tell you later than never. Grandma and Grandpa, but more specific: Nging Nging means your father’s mother, Yeah Yeah is your father’s father. On the other side, Pau Pau is your mother’s mother, Gung Gung is your mother’s father. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Barb Knowles says:

        Very cool but I hope there isn’t a test tomorrow. I have to practice!


  7. Barb Knowles says:

    Reblogged this on saneteachers and commented:

    A friend suggested that I share this with you again.


  8. It’s a beautifully written, Barb. It’s hard to survive a child…I can’t imagine the devastation you went through. So sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing a little piece of your memory. X.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So sorry for your loss. Children are such a gift.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

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