Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Interesting conversations with a 4 year old - not!!

So I was sat innocently eating my tea tonight and Anya asked me if I had laid Nana T (my mum). I finally got what she meant (had I given birth to Nana) and I said no. So she then asked who had. A lady called Gladys I said. Next question came and I thought uh oh! So where is Gladys now? Well Gladys died when Nana T was 13 years old. So did she go up there - pointing to the sky. (Me being an atheist married to a Christian we always knew this was going to be a tricky one to answer!) So I said that some people think that you go up there into heaven where God lives, some people think that you float round in the sky with the birds etc and some people don't think anything happens at all. So what happens when we die? So I explained that the very special part of you that makes you who you are comes out and then your body is left. So why do people die? I explained that people's bodies stop working when they get older (I haven't explained premature death yet - I'll leave that one to Daddy!) and they stop working. The special part of them leaves and that's the part that some people think goes to heaven etc. The next one was a bugger though. So Mummy are you going to die? Erm yes sweetheart but not for a very long time. Cue lots of tears and snuggles needed. So she sat down to have her tea and then stopped suddenly and said 'Am I going to die?' with lots and lots of tears. So I reassured that yes she would die (we believe in telling the truth in this house) but not until she was much older. The crying eventually stopped so I sat her back to eat her tea. Then she suddenly thought about Bo (her much loved teddy) and said 'but what will happen to Bo when I die?' I didn't know what to say to this (lots of thoughts but couldn't just pick one) so I just snuggled and shushed her.



Daisie said...

Blimey, what a talk. Not quite as amusing as no gravity in spain. We have done that talk too and Francesca reassures me that I'll live until at least 100 and she will live next door to me in a pink house when she is a grown up.
It's not all bad, you have chicken knickers!!!
Big hugs, you non-believer, you!!

Tip Top said...

OMG! We have sort of done that in our house as my cousin died just before Samuel was born and Marcus (his son) does not have a daddy so he sort of understands.

Plus one of the rabbits at nursery popped its clogs and it was explained to them what had happened etc. Good old nursery eh??!!

Net said...

Oh my, congratulations on handling this so well. I have a 4 year old too, the other day his dad found him crashing his toy cars and saying "now the people are dead" all matter-of-fact-ly. He had no idea what it meant. We explained but there were no questions about where people go to just a very firm, "Well, anyway, my Granny's not going to die, so that's it!"

As non-believers, we're not sure how to handle the "heaven" aspect, I think I might offer all the differing opinions and let him choose.