Death & Dying…

March 19, 2010

Moira has been obsessed with death and dying lately. Maybe it’s her age, maybe it’s that she’s a little more macabre than most kids, but it’s creeping me out and I’m having a lot of trouble answering some of her very deep questions. A few months back she asked, “Mom, when do people die?” I explained to her that some people die at any age if they get so sick that the doctor can’t help them or that some people die at any age if there is some sort of accident “BUT,” I kindly told her, “most people don’t die until they get really old and their bodies get too old to be alive anymore”.

She replied, “Like Big Moira?” (Big Moira is Kev’s Grandmother, who little Moira is named after).

Thinking she thought I meant that Big Moira was old, I said, “Yes, like Big Moira.” She began crying and I thought she was upset about the prospect of Big Moira dying so I hugged her and consoled her.

I thought nothing more of the conversation until a few weeks later when I told her we were going to see Big Moira for lunch and she elatedly screamed, “YOU MEAN SHE’S STILL ALIVE?”. It just goes to show that exceptional communication skills (which is one of the skills listed on my resume) are UBER important in parenting. Jody gets a big fat F on this one.

Yesterday Kev and I took the kids for ice cream and while we were sitting having a nice family conversation Moira up and asks, “If you and Daddy BOTH die, who’s going to take care of us.” Thinking this is going to open up a can of worms I’m not quite ready to deal with, I answer honestly anyway, “If Mommy and Daddy both died, you and Theo would go live with Aunty Erin (my big sis) and Uncle Kyle.” She added, “And Willem and Edie.” I said, “Yes, that’s right.” At this point I’m bracing myself for the deluge of questions like: how will you and daddy die? Or tearful outbursts like: I don’t want you to die! Instead she replied, “Okay. But before you and Daddy die can you quickly give me Aunty Erin’s phone number. Maybe you could write in on a piece of paper and fold it up for me.”

Maybe I should put an emergency phone list together, just in case!