April 4, 2010

Talking to kids about death. Sort of an easter story.

Putting Gabriel (3) and Raul Andres (5) to sleep tonight, the topic of conversation turned to death. Note the person referred to as Haraboji is the kids' great grandfather. A slightly abbreviated transcript:

Gabriel: Dad?

Me: Yes?

Gabriel: Where is Haraboji's wife?

Me: She died before you were born.

Raul Andres: How did she die?

Me: She was very sick.

Raul Andres: I got sick and didn't die.

Me: Well she was very old got very very sick.

Gabriel: Haraboji is sad. He misses her too much.

Raul Andres: Your abuelito and abuelita died.

Me: Yes.

Gabriel: Do you miss them?

Me: Yes.

Gabriel: Will you die?

Me: Yes.

Gabriel: I don't think that is a good idea.

Raul Andres: How would we live?

Me: I don't think it will happen for a long long time when I'm very old. You'll be men by then.

Raul Andres: Will everyone die? Everyone?

Me: Someday.

[quiet]

Gabriel: Then who will live in the world?

Me: Well, all the babies who are being born today. They'll grow up and have new babies.

Gabriel: But if we die, they'll never know us.

[quiet]

Raul Andres: I know what happens when you die. They put your body in the ground and cover it up.

Gabriel: So scientists can find you later?!

Raul Andres: And they put a rock with your name on top to remember.

Gabriel: But how can you remember everyone?

Me: Well, sometimes even after we die we give things to people. Like Gabriel even though you never met my Abuelito he gave you his ears, and Raul Andres, even though you never knew him, you have the same eyes. So I remember him every day when I look at you guys and you remember him even though you never knew him.

Gabriel: I have your Abulitos ears.

Raul Andres: I have your Abulitos eyes.

[quiet]

[The sound of two kids alseep.]

Related: Abuelito's Ears, Bloodlines

posted at 03:49 AM by raul

Filed under: on kids

TAGS: death (5) kids (18) time (25)

Comments:

04/04/10 09:50 AM

This is simply beautiful.

04/04/10 12:29 PM

Lovely. Thank you.
Wishing a Blessed Easter to you and yours.

04/04/10 01:21 PM

You just made me cry, you bastard.

Thanks for writing about things like this. This old atheist needs to read things like this sometimes.

04/05/10 05:03 AM

Children are so wise. This reminds me of a conversation with my little son many years ago:

Tim before sleeping,takes his thumb out of his mouth: Mum, are you going to die one day?
Me: Yes, everybody dies one day, old people, sometimes even very young people.
Tim (anxious eyes): How old are you going to become?
Me: You never know before how old you are going to become. But I promise you to take care of myself. I want to become at least 80 years old. Then you will be an adult and 45. Do you think that will be ok?
Tim: Yes (satisfied and no more fear).

05/17/10 12:36 PM

porque durante mucho tiempo me he perdido en tus imágenes

porque es un sitio al que regreso constantemente

porque soy tu fan:

http://costasinmar.blogspot.com/2010/05/que-el-destino-te-reserve-anos.html

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