Death and Playtime

17 May

My grandfather died about a month ago. We all went to the wake and the funeral and everything. Even did the age appropriate conversations with each kid at the time. Everything seemed to be okay. Yesterday, however, while my four year old and I were having a little tea party, she informed me that she was making a special drink so that we wouldn’t die. She then proceeded to grill me on how one knows when you are going to die. I sat her down and asked her if she was afraid of dying. “YES!” she cries, “I don’t want to die!” Just goes to show that you have to work on their time schedule and not yours. Here I was thinking that we were in the clear and that the kids were not bothered by this death and then when I least expect it one of them lets me know she is finally ready to talk about it. So we talked. This conversation is never easy at any age, but how do you frame the discussion in a way a very young, but very intelligent and aware child can understand. So we talked about life, and God, and choices. It was very interesting watching her think. I pretty much let her tell me what she needed to know, and then answered her questions as honestly as I could. I didn’t give her the lie that she would never die or that her dad and I would always be here with her. But I let her know that she has support when she needs it. She is already telling me now that Grandpa is in her heart like Jesus. But I’m not because I’m not dead yet. Go figure.

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