Little Bella was heartbroken after her mom Linda and sister Lia died. Although her daddy, Andrew, told her they were happy with the angels, Bella was worried that her sister Lia would be cold and lonely underground.
“Mom, I miss you so much! I miss Lia too. Can you please come back? Deddy misses you too, Lia…,” Bella cried as she held her teddy bear, Deddy, in tears.
Andrew was right outside Bella’s room that night, and hearing his 8-year-old daughter miss her mother and twin sister broke his heart.
Since Linda and Lia died in a car accident, Andrew hadn’t been able to spend much time with Bella. He often found himself alone in his room as he too struggled to cope with their loss. The death of a loved one breaks a person. Losing Linda and Lia had also broken Andrew inside.
In the days following the funeral, Andrew had sent Bella to live with her aunt. He just didn’t have the strength to talk to anyone or do anything. However, after Bella continued to cry at her aunt’s house, telling her that she wanted her mom and sister back, Andrew had to take her home.
One day, he finally confronted her and told her they weren’t coming back. “They’re with the angels, Bella. And Mom and Lia are very happy there.”
Only Bella didn’t believe him.
“How can Lia be okay, Dad? You forgot that she gets scared when she’s alone! That’s why I had to share my bed with her. She must be so cold and hungry too. I’m worried about her…”
Andrew didn’t know how to tell Bella that we’re not cold or hungry or scared or anything else after we die. We’re just gone. Far away. And we don’t come back to the ones we love.
“Honey, you have to believe, Daddy. They’re okay!”
“No, Daddy! You are so evil! You don’t care about Lia anymore! Is it because she left us? I don’t love you, Daddy!” Bella cried and ran off to her room.
Andrew sighed, not knowing what to do. Bella needed to stop worrying about people not coming back to her.
One morning, Bella was very unhappy. She was staring blankly at her breakfast plate, not ready to eat a single bite of her food. Seeing her like this, Andrew was very concerned.
“Dad, can we go see Lia today? I miss her. She must be lonely,” she said.
“Honey,” Andrew replied, “We’ve talked about this before. Lia is happy where she is…but,” he pauses, “how about we leave a toy with Lia, so she’s not lonely. Maybe Deddy can stay with her?”
“Deddy… That’s my favorite toy,” she mumbled. “But, I have so many other toys and Lia doesn’t have one. If I give her Deddy, will she be happy?”
“Sure. We’ll go see Lia tomorrow. Daddy has work to do, then he’ll go get toys for Lia too. She’ll be happy if Dad buys her something. Is that okay with you?”
Bella smiled. “Yes, Daddy! You know what, I’ll take her favorite cookies too! Lia will be so happy. She won’t be hungry anymore!”
The next day, Andrew took Bella to Lia’s grave. When they arrived, Bella picked up her favorite toy and the other things she had brought for Lia and ran to her grave.
“Lia! Look who’s here! It’s Deddy!” she cried as she stopped right in front of Lia’s grave. Then she noticed a letter in a beautiful pink envelope near the grave.
“To Bella… From Lia,” she read.
“What is it, honey?”, Andrew asked her.
“Lia sent me a letter, Dad! I told you she missed me. Will you read it for me? I’ll sit with Lia while you read it.”
Andrew opened the envelope and began to read the letter to Bella:
I am so happy to have a sweet sister like you. You are the best sister in the world, and I love you so much. But Bella, you don’t need to worry about me. Mom is here in heaven to take care of me, just like you have your daddy with you. God called Mommy here because He knew I would be sad on my own. So you don’t have to be sad and cry because of me.
Mommy and I love you and we want you to be happy. When she helped me write this letter, she told me she doesn’t like you to be sad and cry. She wants you and Daddy to smile more often. If you and Daddy smile every day, she will be very happy and I will smile back at you, even if it’s from far away.If you’re worried that I’m hungry, I want to tell you that the angels here are very nice. They help Mom cook delicious things for me, so I’m not hungry. You don’t have to worry about me, Bella. Just be happy. I will always love you and miss you. I know we don’t have a chance to talk now, but we can comfort each other with letters. I will send you another one soon.
With all my love,
“So Lia doesn’t need anything, Daddy?” asked Bella sadly. “She doesn’t need the cookies? She’s satiated with the food the angels give her?”
Andrew knelt down to face her and hugged her.
“When our loved ones leave us, Bella, they go to a safe place where they are happy. That’s because the angels want our family and friends to be happy when we’re not around them. Mom and Lia are happy too, so don’t worry. ”
“If Lia and Mom are happy,” Bella said, “I think I’m happy too…. I still want to give her the toys we gave her. I don’t want them, because I have other toys. ”
“No problem, honey,” Andrew said with a smile. “And now that we know that Lia and Mom are happy, you don’t have to worry about it all the time. Daddy won’t worry about it either…”, Andrew added.
Bella left Deddy by Lia’s grave and smiled. “Here you go, Deddy. If Lia asks about me, tell her I’ll come see her soon!”
In time, Bella was comforted by the fact that her sister and mother were happy and safe with the angels. She continued to bring toys to Lia, but she no longer worried about her.
Andrew did not tell little Bella that he was the one who wrote the letter, deciding that he would tell her everything when she was old enough. In fact, he decided to continue writing her letters from time to time until she was older and could face reality.
“…Remember what I said last time? I’ll come see you even when I’m VERY old and become a grandmother, Lia! I love you,” Bella said to Lia every time she left the cemetery. But instead of crying and worrying about her sister, she had a huge smile on her face as she awaited her next visit.