As parents, there will come a time when you face what I would call The Two Talks. One being the ‘Birds and the Bees’ which, considering my children are 4 and 2, is hopefully a long way off, and the other is ‘Life and Death’. Not the most joyful of topics, I know, but it is what it is.
From what I can gather, it seems that around the 4 year-old mark they start to became aware of the concept of death. It’s a tough one really. Explaining life and death to a child always needs thought and a little delicacy. Grown-ups themselves find it hard enough to comprehend, let alone a child.
Little D has been pondering it of late. I have had questions about God and Jesus; birth and death; angels and ghosts – all swirling around in his little head. I see him confused and desperate to make sense of it all and I wish I could explain it simply, but I just don’t seem to be able to. He has moments of panic when he asks me how old I will be when I die, starting to grasp the idea that Mummy may not be around forever. I always tell him that hopefully it isn’t for a very long time, but that doesn’t seem calm his fears.
Playing in the garden the other day, we were just chatting while he was on the swing. It was the usual chat: school, friends, what’s for dinner and then he suddenly asked me “Mummy, is there sand in Heaven?” I was completely taken aback. It’s actually quite a lovely thought, that there are beautiful sandy beaches in Heaven for everyone to enjoy. Laughter and sand-castles everywhere.
This question stuck with me for the rest of the day. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and about how upset he was at the thought of Mummy or Daddy not being around. We, as parents, spend practically all of our waking (and most of our sleeping) hours worried about our children. Worried about their safety, their happiness, their health. The thought of losing them is unthinkable to say the least. But we never really think about it from their perspective. Losing Mummy or Daddy and the impact that can have on a child. We are their ‘everything’. Their days begin and end with us. We feed them, change them, play with them, care for them, cuddle them, love them and tuck them in at night. How can we underestimate how important we are in their lives?
Seeing Little D genuinely distraught and crying at the thought of it was heart breaking. It makes me want to look after myself more, take care when crossing the road or when I get behind the wheel of the car. To not take risks, to realise that essentially, I am irreplaceable. Not for me, but for them. They are our important people, and we are theirs.
I’ve been shortlisted for a ‘Brilliance in Blogging Award’ in the Fresh Voice Category! If you enjoy reading the blog, I would be super duper pleased if you would consider voting for me! x