Damian's uncle Eddie passed away last week. As soon as I heard the news I asked Selena to say a prayer with me and so I instructed her to put her hands over her heart and I prayed that he be at peace. She didn't mention anything about this for a week, when all of a sudden, out of the blue while she was eating her supper, she began to sob, 'I don't want to get big and die like Uncle Eddie.' And she didn't stop at that, it went on and on for half an hour.

What do you say when a four year old says she doesn't want to die because then she can't be a princess? What do you say when she says that she doesn't want to grow big? How do you console a child when we know that one day we will die?

Eventually, after trying to dispel her fears and make death less scary I sort of gave in and lied. I told her exactly what she wanted to hear and although that has stopped her crying it hasn't stopped her from telling us that she doesn't want to die.

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Ah, how difficult Susthama... It sounds for me that something scared her.... Give Selena a big hug, and tell her that I sent her my love. Maybe you can find a nice book for her about dead? (That sounds odd)

In Holland we have quite a nice one for her age from Max Velthuis  'Kikker en het vogeltje'. About frog and his animal friends who are finding a dead bird; but I suspect this one is not available in English...                    

Are we going to see you all in June? I hope so! 

much love for all of you!

Poor old Selina. Give her a cuddle from me! Namo Amida Bu(   :

I never wanted to grow up either. Namo Amida Bu.

Oh, I think I've seen that book in English at Foyles Elja. Thank you for that suggestion. I think she is ok in general. Maybe more than ok since now it is ok for me to die. I think that is more to do with the fact that she can do what she likes when I am not looking and get away with it.

And some of us never really grow up! :)
Thank you for sharing this piece. I recall getting to four and deciding that I wanted to stay four forever if at all possible. A.A. Milne's argument for six being the ideal age never seemed quite right. At the end of that year my father got sick for the first time and everything changed. Maybe we think we come to terms with death as we get older, that as we meet death we come to accept it and understand it. But now I am living through the last illness of my partner and I am not so sure we ever really do. As a dharma teacher of mine said to me in a letter a couple of months ago "Considering this is actually the permanent condition of life— It is strange that it is strange."

Selena won't remember me but give her a hug for me anyway :-)
Take care Nami Amida Bu

How moving, I can imagine that as a mother it is difficult to know what to say when your 4 years old child says this.

Yes, a good hug can maybe help her...

Big hug for you too!

NAB

Vajrapala

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