Recently our son has been asking about death a lot. It seems to be a normal stage for an inquisitive 4 year old to go through, but I think it was triggered by him being allowed to watch the new Star Wars film. Which led to me having to explain that Han Solo was having a ‘forever sleep’. In some ways it’s been quite a useful conversation to have, because now my warnings (threats) have leverage; I.e. Don’t do that because you could have a forever sleep.
Anyway… The grandparents of my husband and I have also come up a lot. Where they are now to be precise. I thought they were all gone until I realised my dads mum is still hanging in there at the admirable age of 95. Whoops. So we headed up to the nursing home to see her, with my son intermittently asking ‘When is your grandma going to die?’ and me explaining that you don’t know when you will die, but at her age it could be any minute now, and please don’t ask her when she will die because she will get upset. In fairness he didn’t ask her anything. At all. He seemed to freak out instead and was rendered mute for the whole visit, which was probably for the best.
That was a few weeks ago, but this morning he asked me again ‘Where is your grandma?’
‘She had a forever sleep.’
‘Because she was very very old and poorly?’
‘Where is she now?’
‘Erm… heaven, hopefully. It’s a nice and peaceful place.’
‘Who took her there?’
(Fuck sake…) ‘Angels.’
He looked a bit puzzled at this last answer and then carried on playing with his Star Wars toys. Thank goodness, because I’m really not ready for a frank talk about religion just yet. May need to read up on the best approach for that first!