““If I die, Mama, will I be alive again?” Luijoe asked. My six-year-old was lying on the bed, flipping through the prayer books piled on his tummy.

It was Holy Week, a month before that fateful day of May 27, 2000.

my son

I turned my body to face his and stroked his cheek. How could I explain the mysteries of death to a little boy? ““When we die, Lui, we will live forever, through eternal life in heaven,” I said the lines I’d memorized from the teachings of our Catholic Church.

““When I die, I will be alive again!” he exclaimed, jumping in bed, arms wide in exuberance.

““Yes, baby, you will live forever, but not on Earth.” I smiled at his childish enthusiasm and wide-eyed wonder. ““I won’t see you anymore but you will have eternal life with God.”

With a serious look on his face, he asked ““Mama, who goes to heaven?” His chubby fingers twirled on the strands of my hair. He sniffed the ends and splayed my hair along his cheeks.

““Good boys go to heaven and usually they become angels.”

““I don’t want to go to hell,” he said with vehemence.

I hugged him, said he was a good boy, and promised that he would never go to hell.

Head bowed, he picked up a prayer book to continue praying, then looked up. With both hands planted firmly on my cheeks, he asked, ““Are the clouds heaven?”

““I’m not sure if the clouds are heaven, but it’s somewhere up there and hell is down there,” I said, kissing his fat cheeks.

He never tired of asking the same questions over and over again, as though reassuring himself that there were angels that protected him and that heaven was a beautiful place to go when someone died.

Why had I not seen our conversation as a sign that something devastating was about to happen? If I had sensed the omen then, could I have prevented his death? Had Luijoe known he was leaving us soon and in his childlike way, tried to warn me?

(The above is an excerpt from the story I wrote on Luijoe’s Life and Death from The Fallen Cradle edited by Agnes Prieto)

Sometimes I wished I had the power to go back in time and stopped his death. Of course that is not possible. Those wonderful words he told me weeks before his death is what keeps my faith alive.

Luijoe’s words never fail to bring me hope that we will reunite one day. It gives me the courage to put meaning in my life.

My religious background always taught me that Jesus is in Heaven with God and the angels and that Heaven is a place to go , but only after we die. The ultimate questions rests on , “how can anyone see or experience Heaven after they’re dead, since we’re taught when you die, everything ceases to exist? ” “Or does the spirit live on?” Has anyone actually heard a heaven testimonial from a loved one?

Another common question is ““What is the use in striving for something that is intangible, invisible and unseen? Or is it? Eternal Life seems so elusive.

Yet I will go with my faith. I believe my greatest proof is my son when he innocently exclaimed that ““When I die, I will be alive again” two weeks before his untimely death. How simplistic but that is faith.

Faith is one of the virtues that keeps me alive and going in this temporary world.

““I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John11:25,25)

““For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)

May Easter Day remind us not only of our Lord’s resurrection but also that of our precious children. We hope your celebration of Easter is filled with the joy the Christ offers in his resurrection.

Happy Easter day to all.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1267 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.


About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

15 Thoughts on ““If I die, Mama, will I be alive again?” , my son asked.

  1. Your son went up to heaven on my birthday.

  2. I shared a thought once to a good friend who just lost her father. She was a wreck. Couldn’t eat and sleep well. She was most especially close to him as compared to her siblings. She asked me for an assurance or any idea that I have regarding eternal life. Anything at all. She’d take it, she said.

    I told her (a portion of this is taken from the reply I made to your comment in my latest post), “I heard that time doesn’t run as slow up there as it does down here. A hundred years for us may only seem like the time it will take for them to blink in that place. If you believe in life eternal, he won’t end up bored waiting for you up there as you continue living your life to even more than a hundred down here.”

    For the first time that night, I saw her smile.

  3. thanks for this beautiful article. left me teary-eyed. i like your kind of writing — bumabaon hanggang puso. :)

  4. I have a one-year and seven-month old daughter, a gift given to us by God after 5 long years of hoping and waiting. I can feel the longingness you have for your son, madam and I truly admire you for coming to terms with the death of your little son.

    Thanks for inspiring all of us. You made me love my daughter even more.

  5. Hello Noemi,
    Seems like all kids have this knack for asking and unknowingly expressing life’s simple lessons about faith, love and hope. And they also, in their simple way, understand these profound concepts, sometimes even better than most adults.

    My son Derick, who is now eight, is also a “thinker”. I am amazed at the questions he throws my way about life, death, angels and God. It would take so much from moms like us, who become mostly “jaded” and cynical about life’s basic truths, to give a careful answer to a kid’s question. Sometimes, I just say a silent short prayer before I answer profound yet simple question like, “Will I die, mama?”, “Will you and Papa also die”, “Why am I like this?”, “Where is heaven?”, “Where is Jesus?”.

    Thanks for sharing a bit yourself, Noemi! God bless!

  6. @maan- a recent friend told me that the day was her engagement day and she recalled the rain that I told in my story

    @fritz- what comfort you are. Good thing your friend trusted you enough. Some bereaved don’t like to be told that their loved ones are in heaven when they are heavy in grief. Your friend trusted you so much.

    @lui- until now, I feel that same feeling when I re-read this story

    @thebystander- oh yes love your child always. Sometimes I felt I was too hard on my son when he was alive and regret it.

    @deb- we learn so much from our kids. God’s gift to us indeed. Cherish it.

  7. Sometimes we just can’t explain how hard it is to live life when troubles come and how fascinating it becomes when we become survivors after every storm. Happy Easter!

  8. happy easter, noemi. what a special gift your son is to you.

  9. Oh, this post is spiritually uplifting. Not that I don’t understand your grief, but this reaffirms our fatih and belief in the eternal life. Be assured that your son is in heaven.Catholic dogma requires that we do good to be able to go to heaven. but then the bible says about salvation by grace and not by good works. And also, children especially those that are not considered of “age” go straight to heaven because the Word of God says so in 2 Samuel 2:22 -23: “And he said: “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, “Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me”. King David was assured that his son was in heaven because he will be with him when he dies.Not that his son will return- but he was sure that they will meet again in heaven.

  10. Your site is very touching, I am a mother of 5 and i have 2 boys they are 10yrs old and 3 months. Your story made me actually come to them and see if they are doing just fine. I want to hug them and tell them how i love them dearly. May God Bless you and your family. I am currently starting my own blog, nothing posted there yet and i came across your site, looking for ideas, and honestly, you did touched my heart today.

  11. Hi Noemi, this is another touching post. Thanks. Truly, death is the beginning of the eternal life with our Creator, the very essence of Resurrection. Happy Easter to you and your family.

  12. Noemi I commend your choice of living in faith while aware of this life’s struggles. I think everyone will stumble upon the same question of life’s purpose (once or n times). And the possible actions I see are: (1) believe in something (2) not to believe in something (3) not to believe in anything.
    I believe that faith molds our actions and gear us back to track when things become trivial.
    Anyway, in our last earthly breath, we still won’t know enough.
    Belated happy easter! Good to hear from people who celebrate Jesus’ Paschal Mystery!

  13. What a religius posting…It’s very nice to read it. Easter is grace because Easter gives us guarantee to have an eternal life in heaven with our Jesus. Happy Easter…

  14. How comforting it is to have that memory of your conversation with Luijo.

    Today, my toddler and I attended a Mass of the Angels in honor of Mary-Claire Barmada, a three year old girl who died of cancer. The priest said in the homily that when a child dies, he or she goes to heaven. Your family member, bearing your name, in heaven. You are blessed to have an angel up there… Thank you for sharing your life with us, because your loss and suffering has touched our lives. I honor you for that.

    God bless.
    Jeannie / pmn

  15. This got me teary eyed. And made me pause and ask the same question: where do we go after we die. As Catholics, we have been told that good people go to Heaven and bad people go to Hell. And that sufficed.
    Thanks for sharing. Belated happy Easter.

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