Death: Bedside Conversations With a 7 Year Old*

My son and I are known for our deep bedside conversations.

We often talk about the nebulas and the Katrina victims.

Black holes and whether you can consider Drake a singer.

What’s most important in life and God.

Our conversations are varied and open and honest.

There are times when I’ve mentioned to someone a topic that was discussed.

And they will say something to the effect that he is too young to know about such and such.

But I tell them (and myself) that if he is asking the questions.

Then he obviously is old enough to discuss the answers.

And who better to talk to than me?

So last night as we were getting ready for bed.

My son asks me if I want to know how he wants to die.

At first I’m taken aback.

I mean he’s only a 3rd grader…

With his whole, long life ahead of him…

Why on earth would he want to discuss his death?

But then I thought,

Why not??

All of us have to grapple with the knowledge that we are mere mortals.

And that one day soon (or not so soon) we will all pass away.

So I gathered myself and prepared for a deep discussion on dying.

Told him yes,

I would love to hear how you want to go.

And he said,

“I want to go quietly in my sleep.”

“Or like Mr. Magorium in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.”

“He just sat in his chair and little lights twinkled around him.”

“Next thing you know he was up with the Northern Lights.”

“That’s how I want to go.  How about you mama?”

And I told him how I would like to go peacefully as well.

In my sleep, just like him.

And to sleep he had already fell, with a smile on his face.

*Note:  My son would like me to remind everyone that he will be 8 in 6 weeks.  Thank you for your attention.


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