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Jul 9

You’re gonna die

Posted on Friday, July 9, 2010 in Family, Philosophy

Sometimes when I’m walking around and talking to myself, as you do, I like to rehearse possibly awkward conversations I’ll hopefully be having with my kids someday.  The facts of life mainly… it’s important to practice these things so that when the time comes I’ll be cool and nonchalant and not a giggle-suppressing wreck when explaining what a vas deferens is. 

Then there’s the question of life, death, and that whole afterlife thing, which Puppychild blindsided me with last night.

Out of the blue, she asked me why my grandparents were dead.  Then she asked me when her own grandparents would die and asked if they wouldn’t rather stay alive forever instead. 

“Everybody dies.” I explained, in a roundabout way.

The information sank in slowly and I watched as she bonded with the rest of humanity and the millions who have gone before us, fearful enormity plopped onto her shoulders like a big bag of spuds and I felt sad for her.  Her teddybear’s lip began to quiver.  I explained to her that she must try to stay happy, to love every minute she has with her Grandad and Granny instead of worrying about their demise.  The information was absorbed and absolved.

“But what happens to you when you die?”

I told her that we dissolve and turn into skeletons and get chewed into dust and soil.  There seemed no point in mincing words, I figured it was better for her to learn it from me, rather than learn it from maggotty dead roadkill at some point in the future.  I softened the blow by telling her that flowers and trees grow from soil, life from life, life from death, that sort of thing.  It seemed to work.

Then I explained about Buddhist theories of re-incarnation and she chose that she should return in the next life as a puppy.  No surprise there then.

I didn’t get to explain about heaven, for she had fallen asleep by then.  I’m not sure whether this is a pity or not, she didn’t mention the subject again until lunchtime when I mentioned we’d be visiting Grandad.

“Grandad’s gonna die!” she said cheerfully. 

This means she’s now either a psychopath, or she’s figured out the meaning of life.  Either way I become famous, which is nice.

Bring on the comments

  1. Cat says:

    This means she’s now either a psychopath, or she’s figured out the meaning of life. Either way I become famous, which is nice.

    Love it!

  2. Grandad says:

    Huh! You really know how to cheer a bloke up.

  3. Baino says:

    Hmmm . . don’t make dying sound so fablious. Actually, at her age, they just want the answers not a dialogue on the philosophy of the universe as we know it. I reckon you handled that one pretty well. But trust me, it’s not the curliest . . then I’m at an age where my kids fill me in but that’s a whole other story. Poor Grandad . .

  4. Radge says:

    Brilliant.

    I’ve just made a vow to visit more often, love the design and the words…

  5. K8 says:

    Cat; Thanks! Here’s hoping it’s the latter, I don’t fancy re-writing a version of ‘We need to talk about Kevin’.

    Grandad; Hey, you’re the only one she’s worried about – I’m chopped feckin’ liver over here!

    Baino; It’s so hard to lie to a pair of big brown eyes. Except where the toothfairy’s concerned of course.

    Radge; Howyeh! Music to my ringing ears, thanks a million.

  6. Jo says:

    Ha :) I just explained about the toothfairy to my youngest, with only mild guilt – the other side of the coin!

    I think you handled that well too. And congrats on your impending fame!

  7. K8 says:

    It helps to believe in the tooth fairy on some levels… in other words it helps to be slightly insane.

  8. Granny says:

    No mention of poor Granny, maybe i expired years ago an nobody told me, that explains
    why nobody listens to me!

  9. K8 says:

    We’re going to preserve you up in the bogs, then rescusitate you when technology allows. You’re just not appreciated in your own time, see.

  10. Howdo you write so well!

  11. K8 says:

    *blush* I don’t know, I think it has something to do with the moon.

  12. unstranger says:

    Superb as ever K8

  13. your quite simply the most wonderful person in the world kate. after reading your blog you have thought me that death is nothing to be scared about. I have always belived in the budda and i do believe in the fater life. I do hope to come back as a pampered pooch like my little one shep but i know thats not going to happen. Now i cant not for the life of me stop laughing at the word vas deferens i now have to head into night school and taling for a whole 20 mins about the male and female reproductive system. snigger penis breasts vas deferens. oh lordly its going to be a long night

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