A difficult conversation

13 February 2012

Me and the darlings went for lunch at my friends house today. On the way there we drove past a cemetery and Oliver asked 'What's that mummy?' I think it must be the first time he's noticed a cemetery, although we drive past a different one all the time, but it's behind a very high wall so he's never really seen that one either.

Anyway, I was a bit stumped as to what to say! I don't really like talking about death with him as he's only 3 years old and being the type of mum I am, I want to protect him from all the sad things that happen in life. I wasn't sure he would understand it either and if he did, it might scare him as he can be a bit sensitive. On the other hand I'm a firm believer in answering his questions (within reason!), not ignoring or fobbing him off and I try to explain things in a way he can understand. So I said to him:

'It's a cemetery'
'What's a cemetery mummy?'
'It's a sad place'
'Why is it sad?'
'People go there when they die and when people die their family is sad that they won't see them'
'Oh right'
End of conversation!

Maybe I said the wrong thing? Maybe I said enough for now? I feel ok about what I said and Oliver was cool with it all. I'm sure there'll be many more conversations like this in the future!


  1. It's a tough one. My son has always has a fascination with death (not in a creepy way!), an example being when I tried to hide the dead bird in the garden but he was totally in awe of it and we had to hold a funeral. Recently my brother and his partner lost their baby so I had to explain death fully, although I thought he'd understood, he said recently that he wasn't excited about a friend's pregnancy and when I asked why he said "Because most babies die." I was heart-broken and tried to explain again that it was very rare. It's such a difficult area to deal with. Now Ben will often tell people that he'd love to go to heaven now because it's such a great place... I still don't think I've got the 'death' thing managed well. Rx


    1. Aww bless him. THere was a dead cat that had been run over outside our house and I told him it was asleep!


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