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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Death and Taxes

The only inevitables in this here life.  But how do you explain that to a child?

I went upstairs last night to find Trenton SOBBING in his room.  Tear streaks down his face and sucking in big gulps of air.  Befuddlement is a mild term for what I was hit with.  He was fine an hour ago.  We were talking about Pokemon. 

In response to my near paniced "What's wrong?!", he told me he was thinking about his hamster, Ben, who died awhile back.  I relaxed.  The instantaeous alarm inside me settled.  However it was soon replaced with something worse. 

In comforting him, the conversation became about death in general, which is what his tears were REALLY about, I assume.  He had questions.  When would his new fish die?  When would Nana and Popaw die?  When would his father, Scott, and I die?

Deer in headlights?  Nope.  Armidillo that never looked up before becoming abstract art on the roadside?  That's more like it.  How did I get here, in this conversation with my 8 year-old.  He was fine and HOUR ago.

You can't lie about death.  You can't make promises.  You can only tell them about the glorious last stop on the life cycle.  But eternity with the Lord doesn't quench the fears the 8 year-old who doesn't want to imagine his life without mommy.  Or Daddy.  Or Nana and Popaw, etc. 

I tried making him laugh.  Telling him that nothing would make me happier than to embarass him in front of his girlfriends by telling stories and dragging out baby pictures.  That worked momentarily.  Distraction ended up being the best method for the stoppage of tears.  But even that took awhile.  I don't know where it came from.  He wouldn't really say.  But SHEESH!  It was so sad! 

And I can't even promise to be there forever.  I DID tell him to look at me.  I'm super old and MY parents are still alive.  He seemed satisfied with that, lol.  He also thought Nana and Popaw to be MUCH older than they are.  Popaw is 97?  Woah.  LOL!!


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1 comment:

k said...

ugh. i remember when i was 8 i went through that kind of thing. i was mortified of immortality. sean's friend's mom died unexpectedly and that was what triggered it for me. i would cry a lot. it's hard. even now when i am 30, i have absolutely NO IDEA what to say to my 8 yr old self when stricken with those fears.

other than just say "don't worry, by the time you are 31, there WILL be a zombie apocalypse and we will all be immortal so long as there are brains to eat."

that might fix it. :)

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