“Mama, am I going to die?”

I jumped on my 4 year old’s bed to get ready to read her a bedtime story. She handed me a really long book and I sat there thinking, No, not that one… But then she launched into a handful of questions that I was so unprepared for.

“Mama, why can’t I see God?”

“Where is Heaven?”

“Does everyone die?”

“Mama, am I going to die?” … “I don’t want to die.”

“Are you going to die?”

I nearly fell off her bed. This was a moment in time, I wished I could’ve said, “Pause, please” while I went and Googled an appropriate response online. But instead, as we lay in her bed, I explained to her that everyone does eventually die and usually it’s when you’re old, have lived a wonderful life, and your body just doesn’t work anymore.

She told me she didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Personally, I still don’t feel comfortable with the thought of death, how could my 4 year old?

I ran upstairs after lots of hugs and reassurance that our family was sticking together and got on my phone to see what the powers-that-be would say to do. Luckily, they said to be honest, even to a preschooler.

This morning she asked me again about it and recanted that “it’s when your body doesn’t work anymore, right?” And I looked at her thinking, I really hope that was an okay answer.

“Mama, does my body work?” she asked.

“Can you jump?” I asked. She said, “Yes.”

“Can you run?” I asked.

She smiled and said, “Fast!”

And just like that, we were on to a new subject.

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