My son keeps talking about dying.

I probably shouldn’t write about serious stuff because my blog name suggests you’re supposed to be able to have a laugh on me.

I’ve never been very good at being who I’m supposed to be.

Seriously, I’m considering changing my blog name to Have A Serious Moment On Me.

Speaking of serious, my four-year-old won’t stop talking about when he dies. It’s been going on since we got back from overseas and it’s ridiculously unnerving.

We’re tight my youngest and I, we talk about heading to ‘pick up the kids’ from school and he’s my bestie when he’s not at kindy.

I wipe his bum, he tells me it looks like I have a baby in my tummy when we swim in our knickers, and we eat hazelnut chocolate hidden in the fridge that no-one else knows about.

Our song is I Will Wait For You by Mumford and Sons, and when it came on the radio yesterday he asked me if I would wait for him to come alive when he died. Of course I said ‘yes’.

Then staring at me intently with his cherub face and big green eyes he said: ‘when you die I will wait for you to wake up’. Gulp.

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Every day the subject of death or dying seems to crop up and it’s a bit much for this sensitive soul. I can’t even allow a grain of such a thought enter my brain, it’s too sad.

I’m sure kids talk about it all the time but it’s the first time it’s been such a hot topic of discussion in my household and my son is such an old and wise soul that when he says such a thing it rattles me.

Just the other day he was swimming in our pool and he told me he loved the pool so much that he wanted to sleep in it. I literally shuddered. I’m sure it’s his near-drowning experience that made me flinch at this statement.

Then I remembered the day he went missing for 10 minutes at our local shops and the few harrowing seconds I thought I’d never see him away. I’m tearing up just remembering.

I’m sure it’s just a phase but there should be some sort of kid rule book that makes talking about death and dying a once or twice a year thing. Not an everyday occurrence.

My brain tells me that he’s probably just heard or seen something from his older siblings as we haven’t had to broach the subject in our family recently, touch wood.

But my heart, that totally kicks my brain to the curb, says it’s not cool and I want it to stop!

How have you dealt with the death and dying talk out of the blue?

Do any of your kids or children you know talk about it much?

Should I change the name of my blog?

Comments

  1. Boy, Em, it’s so confronting hearing them talk about it. I struggle big time and feel like tearing up every time she even brings it up. It’s such a natural curiosity they have in it, talking about it with such a matter-of-fact manner. I do remember when I was 6 and the finality of it struck me and I cried on my mum’s lap for days. In some ways I’m glad my 4 year old still talks about it dismissively as it shows her innocence is still in tact.

  2. Maybe he saw or heard something while you were away? Or your recent hospital stay? Or it could be nothing…. I remember being obsessed by the idea of dying as a kid but for me it was the mystery of it. My paternal grandmother had died before I was born and my father struggled to deal with it as they were close. He talked a lot about her but not much about her death. I remember when my dad would tuck me in and tell me to put my arms under the sheets, wondering if nanna had slept with her arms outside of the covers and that’s why she died. I also drank a lot of instant tea (not exactly sure what that was!) as a kid and my parents making me cut back and wondering if nanna died because she drank too much tea.

    Strange the things kids obsess about…

  3. Hi Em! I’m actually glad you posted about this – lately, my five year old has been asking many death-related questions. His main focus is on avoiding death altogether! We’ve had questions like, ‘What doesn’t die? I want to be that thing’. Also, ‘I don’t want to grow old in this world’ – that one broke my heart a bit ?. He also asked us over breakfast the other day who would look after him if my husband and I both died together. We assured him that we had a plan in place and that there was no shortage of loved ones who would care for him and his younger brother! I’m not entirely sure what brought on these thoughts right now, but my very elderly grandfather passed away in January – maybe it’s been stewing away since then? I try to answer his questions honestly, without being alarming, but I do find it tricky…

  4. I had one that talked about doing non stop for ages, he doesn’t anymore if that’s any comfort for you? It’s a very difficult time fire you though. I hope it passes quickly. Xxx

  5. I try to be as honest as I can about death & dying. My kids ask occasionally about heaven, what happens when you die etc but are not obsessed by it. Little ones don’t really understand the full meaning of it so I am sure it is just a phase.

  6. Wow – that’s serious heart in throat stuff Em. For the past couple of week’s Miss T has started to talk about dying. Asking how old people are when they die and where they go. It was in the car this afternoon that it became personal when she shared with me that she had a nightmare recently. She told me she dreamt she was run over by a bus and there were other kids parachuting up into the sky. It stopped me in my tracks and I got a little choked up thinking that she was dreaming about such things. I know there’s lots more serious conversations to be had in years to come but I’m hoping our little ones keep focusing more on Ben & Holly, cuddles, craft and what day they are up to on their chocolate advent calendar! As for the last question – a definite no to changing the name on your blog. The jumping in the air logo wouldn’t really suit Have a Serious Moment On Me 🙂

  7. Kids really know how to knock us for six with certain topics don’t they. My Lexi asked him if all boys kill the other day. I nearly got whip lash and crashed the car!! WTF?? I am hoping it was just because she over heard me trying to explain to Josh what white ribbon day and domestic violence meant after they had a mufti day at school for it. Don’t you just wish we could wrap them up and keep them away from all these topic!! I’m not ready yet!!! xxx

  8. I remember the exact moment two of my kids suddenly realised what death was about. They were around four at the time and they both asked me the same question. “But you aren’t ever going to die are you Mum?” I told both of them that yes, one day I would, but hopefully not for a very long time. Both of them sobbed and I felt terrible. The other three weren’t bothered by it though, the little shites.

  9. If bub ever started talking like that I’d probably freak out too. I can’t even imagine how horrible it would be to have a child die. He probably did just hear it from somewhere and is trying to process it that’s why he keeps asking. Hopefully he’ll get over the curiosity soon though so you don’t have to keep being reminded of it. p.s. I totally cried reading that he wanted to sleep in the pool.

  10. It must be a four year old thing. My boy does too. I think they are just working out how the world works and that is one difficult subject to get their little heads around. Don’t be too concerned.

  11. This is a hard one. My older boy had many questions earlier this year when we lost our friends in a motorbike accident. I think they are just trying to get their head around mortality – which even grown ups find hard. It’s good to keep the dialogue going with him. You’re an awesome mum – just keep talking to him about it whenever he wants to. oxoxox

  12. Yep, it’s really unnerving when they talk about death. Miss Five has started talking about it the past few days and it’s really creepy. She said she’s dreaming about dying. I can’t even bear to think of it. Let’s hope this phase passes quickly.

  13. I am experiencing the same thing. My 5 year old keeps talking about it-very seriously and sometimes pretending it as well. He is just back from Hospital after his tonsils surgery and CT scan of sinuses, which I am already so scared of. His comments like this make it even more unnerving and unsettling for me. We have never shared with him anything on this and my elder one never talks about it either. With the younger one, it’s happening almost everyday. It just tears me up and am just not able to handle it. Hope your LO is over it already.

  14. On this subject, I’m in need for insight. I’ve looked all over the Internet and read quite a few blogs, and this is probably the only blogging cite that is close to what I experienced with my 6 year old daughter yesterday. It’s really been eating at me. She said in the car, “when I die, will you name your new baby Adalynn *lastname*?” I was just in shock and said “what?! There’s no way you’re dying before me.” And she said, “oh, you’re dying?” I said no not anytime soon and she went on to asking again will I name my new baby her name. I just don’t know what to think…

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