How We View Death

Sometimes my posts from my author site and my mommy site seem to cross over. This is one of those cases..

Kids really put things into perspective sometimes. Even things that are scary or uncomfortable or incomprehensible. My four year old daughter did just that the other night for me as we were reading books, discussing them, and getting ready to go to bed.

The sweet angel of a face turned to me dead (no pun intended) serious and said, “Mommy, I think Pops is going to heaven soon, because he has gray hair. But Mimi dyes hers black, so she’s gonna live a lot longer.”

At first it made my heart sink, and I wanted to say, never! Pops is never leaving this planet without us! He is my dad, and all.

But then I thought, wow. That really takes something very complicated and turns it into something very simple. Just dye your hair. You’ll live longer.

Is that really how these innocent young creatures view their own mortality? I mean, she really didn’t think it was all that big of a deal. It made me wonder what else did she have such simple solutions for. Death is a big thing. What were her thoughts on Peace? Cancer? Were they so simple as well?

In a few years, that perspective will take a new shape, and she’ll start to understand what death means on a deeper level, and she’ll fear it every now and then, for herself, and for others, but for now, it actually gives me comfort that she can be so at peace with something most people can barely internalize without slight desperation to have some kind of understanding. Maybe it’s that very perspective that we should take on. We only have a certain degree of control over death, about as much control as we have over choosing our hair color. And once we dye our hair, we have to throw up our hands, recognize the rest is up to God and just simply live life. Simply.


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