The hardest aspect of putting Desdemona down this morning (besides the whole putting down aspect of it and the me crying all day thing and then the disposing of the not-very-self-cleaning litter box that I always hated which was heavy as hell and holy cow, was it nasty) has been explaining the cat’s absence to Thalia.
She essentially knew that the cat was sick and went to the doctor. So, playing off that, we told her that Desi went to go live with the doctor to get better.
What can I say, it just came out.
It’s easy now, with Thalia only two and not understanding concepts much more complicated than the Wonderpets saving a baby cow who’s stuck in a tree. (Big twister. Don’t ask.) But in time there will be more death and more explaining and it can’t always be that everyone we know who gets sick goes to live with a doctor.
First of all, the doctors wouldn’t have it.
So here’s the question:
How do you/did you/will you talk to younger kids about death, particularly when you don’t have the happy heaven story to fall back on?
(And I’m not being facetious, I swear.)
I’m a non-practicing Jew, as they call it these days, with more commitment to the Jewish culture and values than to the religion. Nate’s a satisfied Atheist. One of the downsides of our collective beliefs, or lack thereof, is that we don’t get free access to that treasure chest full of convenient faith-based answers to life’s tough questions. It’s too bad. It would make things a whole lot easier.
Or as Jack Handey so beautifully put it: If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is “God is Crying.” And if he asks why God is crying, I think another cute thing to tell him is, “Probably because of something you did.”