Friday, November 02, 2007

Day 2

I have always been fascinated by cemeteries. Yesterday A. surprised me by asking to stop at a cemetery near our house. "Awww....a chip off the ol' block," I thought. He wondered what the little stone houses were, and I explained how rich people sometimes had them built so that everyone in the family could be buried together.

We walked around a little and he asked me to read the headstones to him. I did, and we stopped at one that read "You finally made it to the stars..."

"He probably always wanted to visit the stars," A. suggested.

"Yep. Maybe he wanted to be an astronaut," I suggested.

"And heaven is up in the sky," he said.

"Well, that's our best guess. Nobody really knows where heaven is," I told him.

"But I'll find out when I die and go to heaven - I'll know where it is then," he said.

"Yes, you will. And if I'm already there, I'll be waiting for you," I said.

"Yep, and Papa will be waiting for you. And then I'll be waiting for Ben. And then we'll all be in heaven!" he said. He thinks people die in their order of birth.

"That's right." I agreed.

"Mama, we have to get us one of those!" he said, pointing to a private mausoleum.

I did my dissertation on terminally ill children and their concepts of death. One of the things I discovered in the literature was that terminally ill kids whose parents didn't talk about death ended up not believing anything the parent told them. They only believed what they secretly overheard.

I hate it when parents pretend like death doesn't exist. Or they'll explain it quickly, but avoid it when it comes up in movies and books. I don't want to unnecessarily cause anxiety, but I have to believe that if they see I'm not afraid to talk about it, they won't be, either. It remains to be seen if I'll have a similar attitude towards sex.


Carrie said...

Because my father died when I was 2, I always had a very real concept of death growing up. My mom has said she felt fortunate that that was one question she didn't really have to answer/explain to us.

As far as the sex talk, it was pretty much the same as her drug talk. Sex--don't do it. Drugs--don't do it. I don't know how effective that would be had any of her children been the slightest bit daring but for the most part, it was a pretty good talk.

Boobless Brigade Master said...

I can tell you from experience, that I have applied your theory to death and the sex talk and am damn glad I did.
I have an almost 18 year old who is well informed, well-adjusted, smart and although several girls she knows are now teenage-moms, Daisy is still a virgin and doesn't want (notice I didn't say plan!) any children, any time soon:)

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