Does everyone die?

(On a walk around the graveyard, overlooking the reservoir.)

“This is where people are buried.”

“Why are people buried?”

“Well, because they’ve died. But sometimes their bodies are burned instead. That’s called cremation. Some people don’t like the idea of worms crawling over them when they’re dead. Do you think you want to be buried or cremated?”

“I think buried. Does everyone die?”

“Yes, love, I’m sorry but they do.”

“Yes, but not you or Mummy, or granny, or me.”

“No, we’ll all die too. Sometime.”

“Why do we have to die?”

“Well, the world would get very full of people wouldn’t it no-one died? And anyway, who wants to live forever and ever and ever?”

“Yes, everyone dies when they’re old.”

“Well, yes, everyone dies, and most when they’re old. But sometimes, they die when they’re younger. Maybe when they’re Mums or Daddies. Even children die sometimes. Maybe they have an accident and die, like they get hit by a car. That’s why I always hold your hand when we cross the road. Because I don’t want you to get hit by a car.”

“But sometimes people die when they get really poorly; they get so poorly they die. Remember, sometimes you look after me when I’m really poorly.”

“Yes, I take care of you.”

“Well, maybe I might get really poorly too one day. That’s the thing. We never know.”

“Daddy?”

“Yes love?”

“When I die, can I die last?”

“I really hope so, darling, I really hope so.”

(Later)

“What are you reading Daddy?”

“It’s a book by someone who died. It’s about him being poorly?”

“Can I see?”

“Yes, but it’s just words.”

“Oh. Why did he die?”

“He had a poorly brain. He got a lump in it. It grew in his brain and made him very sick.”

“Why did it grow?”

“I don’t know darling, sometimes that just happens. He had a little girl. It’s so sad isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is sad.”

One comment

  1. Hi Gideon
    I attended your course in Manchester earlier this year (excellent and has been so useful) and that’s why I was on your mailing list and why I’ve followed your blog.
    I just wanted to say … what I don’t have words for … sorry you have to have these conversations with your children – admiration for how you do it … wanting to wish you well (if only that wish could do it).

    At this time, may there be many good and happy moments for you and your family.

    Janet

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