Acting on thoughtful feedback from yesterday’s post, Paul and I talked to Elias a bit last night about people dying. We asked if he felt sad, and maybe scared, because Gigi and Grandpa Z both died. We got a nod.
Me: Do you feel scared that Mama and Papa might die?
E: <nod, with big eyes>
Me: Well, Gigi and Grandpa Z were both sick. Mama and Papa aren’t sick. We are okay.
E: But, but, but, when you are both dead, where will we live*?
<sound of parental hearts breaking>
P: Well, honey, you’ll live with your own families. You’ll be big grown men.
E: But … but, when you are both dead …
<long pause; parents hold breath, worrying for child’s tender heart>
E: When you are both dead, does that mean I can do anything I want? And I don’t have to take naps?
When Paul got done laughing, he said, “Yes. When both your parents are dead and you are a big grown adult, you can do anything you want.”
And then, turning to me, “How’s that working out for you, honey?”
* I do plan to talk to him about who would take care of him if something happened to us. I vividly remember asking that question as a kid, being told that I would go live with Uncle Everett and Aunt Marge, and being comforted to my core. Not only because Aunt Marge is kindness personified, but because there was a plan.