When I was young and scared of the sound of thunder, the adults in my life sometimes consoled me by telling me that the noise was caused by one of our loved ones bowling a strike in heaven. I’m not sure where that story originated, but I believed it for many years. It’s funny to think back on it now and realize that I was somehow comforted by a tale that involved death, which was surely more terrifying than thunder.
As we age, the ways in which we comfort ourselves change and evolve, as do the things for which we need comforting, and we outgrow certain notions that we held tight to during childhood. But there’s nothing wrong with making up stories to pass along to each other, folktales of sorts, when they help us get through hard days.
So from now on I’d like to think of the sound of thunder as being caused by Nana celebrating the fact that she won a game of bingo — her lifelong hobby, which she was so dedicated to that nearly every year she left my birthday party early to make sure she could sit in her favorite seat — up in heaven.
Rest in peace, Nana. We love you always.