A Little More Conversation
We are a small family. Most of the time, it’s just the three of us, not a lot of time (ok, any time) spent with our relatives other than my husband’s mom and we kind of like it that way. However, this lack of “togetherness” has not allowed for any conversations with my son on the topic of death and dying.
Since the birth of my son, no one in either my husband’s or my family has passed away. I guess you could cite two exceptions- one being a bird who mistakenly took our window for clear passage- poor bird - and the other was his goldfish. His burial was on the down low and he was quickly replaced with a look a like so I am not sure that even counts.
Even though I am not extremely close to my relatives, the recent passing of my grandmother hit me pretty hard. My mom passed away over 15 years ago and it just kind of brought it all back. For the record, I don’t “do” funerals anymore. I’ll send flowers but that’s about as close as I get.
I got the news one day at work about my grandmother and it was still affecting me when I picked my son up from school. No tears, but kids are perceptive. When we got in the car, he asked, “Mommy, are you sad?”
”Yes, I am,” I said and I told him why.
“What happened to her?” he asked.
“Well honey, she was a lot older than we are and she was sick, it was her time.”
”Where did she go?” he asked.
“She went to Heaven with Jesus”, I replied.
He looked at me for a minute and then said, “What did he say to her?”
Tears in my eyes, I said to him, “He told her it was time to come home.”
“Why - what happened?” he said.
“Because she was sick baby, she just went to sleep and didn’t wake up”.
Wrong thing to say. I now know that this particular comment was not the thing to say to my three year old who relies on sleeping AND waking EVERY DAY- twice! He looked at me with eyes wide and said, “But WE wake up, RIGHT?”
Great. He’ll never close his eyes again for fear or not waking. I am definitely not making Mom of the year this year.
“Yes!” I told him, “We wake up! My grandmother was just sick honey.”
“Oh” he said.
Silence for a minute then the whammy.
“Who died her?”
In all of my sadness, I burst out laughing. I could not help it. Who died her?
This was going to take some explanation. I did my best to explain that no one “died” her. She was sick and Jesus came to take her home where she would not be sick any more and she would be in Heaven with my mom and they would be together.
Thank goodness that my randomness satisfied his three year old mind. There were no more questions - just contentment. A little more conversation brought him to the point of understanding (at least for now) and a smile back to my face.
Back to Mommy Diaries