Death and Dying, how does a 4 year old come up with that kind of question? How do we are parents answer this type of question?
On the way home from Pasand our favorite Indian restaurant on Friday night, Rhayn asked Will "the big question." Not what happens when we die, thank goodness, she isn't up to that one yet. No, she asked him if everyone dies. She became so distraught at the answer that he was really upset about having to explain it to her. I however was in the other car, having driven to meet him after work.
The next morning as we all sat around eating cold cereal and drinking coffee, she asked me how many days until I die. I wanted to cry. "How days until you die, mommy?" (at 4 her questions are often phrased funny.)
"Oh, sweetie, I hope that I don't die for a really long time. Maybe I'll even get to live as long as Great-Grandma."
"Oh." But her face did not seemed reassured. She Looked extremely upset, like she could cry at the drop of a hat.
"Sweet Pea, you don't need to worry about us dying."
How do you comfort, when there is no comforting answer? How can you possibly make your child feel better, when you don't want to lie at all.
Sometimes the decision to be honest comes at a price. There are things we withhold from her, because at 4 years she is not ready to hear any of it. But the times she asks a flat out question like that, well what do you do? There is no textbook answer that will surely make her feel like the world is ok. She has to know that everything dies, everyone dies. Hopefully it doesn't damage her, and she will go on to live a long healthy HAPPY life.
Happy, that is the key word- I want her to live a HAPPY life.