I turn 33 this week. So let’s talk about death, shall we?
I’m not personally worried about death. Many of my friends and family — in fact, all the ones born prior to 1977 — are older than me. But Sally, who affectionately told me that when I was 33 I’d “get even bigger!” thinks death is wild.
I don’t remember exactly how the fascination started, but it’s not uncommon for kids her age to ask about death. She asks questions about it in the middle of a TV show, or in the car, or during dinner. So we’ve had discussions that I am woefully unprepared for about how people die, whether I know anyone who has died, why they died, if we can come back after we die, whether the pineapple on her dish is dead, if she could die in the bathtub, if she can kill the spider herself . . . just . . . normal stuff . . . right? After many discussions, I’m enlisting the help of some books. Why? I’ll show you why. Here are the rules of death, according to Sally:
* We die when we are old and sick. Or when we fall off trees. Or when Mommy forgets to water us.
* People can be reincarnated, but if you are not nice, you might come back as an annoying fly. Very Eastern Religion of her.
* Heaven sounds great but is unlikely. Much like this newly introduced concept of stores that sell only candy. Definitely too good to be true.
* If you fall into the pool without wearing your swimmies and without an adult around, you might die. Wait, you might (enlarge eyes to point of popping out of head) DIIIIEEE.
* Killing bugs might be incredibly awesome and fulfilling, but Mommy won’t allow it because going from enjoying insect murder to becoming a serial killer is just not that big a leap.
* Mommy will kill her own child if she gets a tattoo or drops out of school.
* Turning 4 will be fantastic, except that then one is closer to death.
* Mommy is not old enough to die. But she’s getting closer. Much, much closer.