V and I had the big talk yesterday, no you sillies not the bees and birds one, this was the ‘D’ one. DEATH.
V has been on cold medication for a week and it culminated in a 3 am surprise potty break. So she was hanging out on the toilet and I was sitting on her little footstool, when she asked me, out of the blue, “Mummy will you become old?” Now you have to understand, that for V, the potty is her place of contemplation and we have a lot of deep meaningful conversations while I try not to gag.
“Well, when you become a mommy, I’ll become a grandmother, so that’ll make me a bit old,” I smiled reassuringly.
“So, will you be very old.”
“I’ll be like nani,” (my mother), “she’s not very old is she and I’m a mommy.” That seemed to satisfy her and she gave me a small smile and was soon lost in thought.
Suddenly, she looked up with a worried expression and asked “When you become very old and die?”
That got me on the back foot and I took a minute to answer, since I didn’t want to lie to her, “Well, baby, when you become a grandmother, I’ll probably be very old and die.”
“Then I’ll be without you and daddy?”
“Well, you’ll have a little baby and a big baby who’ll be a mommy right , so you can have fun with them and then you’ll get very old too and die and you can come be with us.”
“Does everyone die?”
That’s when I reverted to something I had told her before. She was going through our wedding album a few months back and she couldn’t find a picture of her little cousin ‘A’ or her self, so she obviously questioned me on it. That’s when I told her the story about the two of them looking down on us from heaven, where there were with God, and then deciding to come down to be part of our family.
“You remember how you and A were with God before you came down and joined all of us. Well, we were all the same and after a while God starts missing all his friends so once you have enjoyed a lot on earth, he calls you back and every one goes up and lives happily ever after with God.”
“Then that’s okay mommy. We’ll all be together and I’ll always be your baby,” she said beaming at me.
I don’t know if I gave her the right explanation, but I tried to let her know that death is a reality without scaring her.
What I don’t get is, when did three year-olds start asking such stuff? Aren’t we supposed to happily oblivious to such death and disaster till we hit 7 or even 9?
P.S. – WordPress is acting silly and I’m just unable to turn on comments for this post. So please follow this link to comment. I’m sorry about the mess.