Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Talking about death with my *other* daughter

"We're not the kind of people who are going to die ever, are we," she said confidently.

My insides clenched up, because the first child I had to discuss all this with found it impossible to either accept or ignore, and cried for hours at a time for ages. Sobbed, or wept quietly, in wretched, devastating anguish. It was horrible.

However. "Yes," I said, "We're going to die, someday, a long time away. Everything dies."


"I don't know, but everything does."

"But then where will all the people be?"

"There'll be new people, because people always have babies, don't they?"

"But they won't have any parents!"

I think she's envisioning some sort of mass extinction event.

So I started with my grandmother, and when my mother was a baby, and then on to when I was a young grownup, and my grandmother died, and how when our baby is grown up their Nana will die too. Luckily, the baby sister being a grownup seems unbelievably distant to this four-year-old. So she said "We are all going to die?"

Her lips wobbled and her chin puckered and she looked not very happy.

"Yes. But not for a long time."

"Even me? But it's not for yages and yages, right?"

"That's right, not for ages."

So that was all right then. She perked up, dismissed it from her mind, and carried on.

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