Saturday, September 13, 2008

The question

Yesterday, Jason attended a funeral for one of his antique car club friends. As I was putting the kids to bed, Paige wanted to know where daddy was. I told her that he was at a funeral. She gasped and said, "did somebody die?" I nodded my head. She was quiet and then said, "will daddy give a kiss to bring them back to life?" I shook my head and said "no, honey, there isn't anything that we on Earth can do to bring him back."

"Did he touch a spindle?" Paige asked. "No, sweetie, sometimes when people get old, their bodies stop working and they leave this life to go live with God," I replied.
"Oh," she said, struggling for comprehension.

"Will I die?" she asked. "Well, Paigey, nobody has ever lived forever, so yes, someday you will die." She looked concerned, I continued, "but hopefully that won't be for a very long time." "Ok, Mommy," she said snuggling into her bed, "goodnight, I love you."

"I love you too," I said kissing her forehead. Closing her bedroom door, I wondered if I had handled those questions appropriately. I imagine the concept and finality of death must be tremendous to a child whose only exposure to the topic is through Disney fairy tales.

I wanted to be open and honest with her, but at the same time not scare her. Death is simply a part of life. Recently, It's been a familiar part of our lives having lost several friends and family members over the last couple of months. But what I really wanted to tell her is even through people leave us, they are never truly gone as long as those who remain keep their memory in their hearts. In that way, a little piece of us will always live on.