As parents we are often faced with questions from our children which we may find difficult to answer. There are the “Where do babies come from?”, the embarrassing ” Mom, why don’t you have what Daddy has?” and then there are the more difficult questions like “Why is the sky blue?” and “Where is heaven?” All which you can talk your way around or divert their attention with “Hey! Who would like some chocolate?” and promptly raid the easter egg stash you’ve been hiding in the back of the grocery cupboard!
This month I had to answer difficult questions from my five-year old which no amount of chocolate could solve. Because this month his childlike mind had to deal with the fact that human mortality has no age restriction. A little classmate, who suffered with severe epilepsy, passed away suddenly after he experienced intense seizures that could not be stopped. The school flag flew at half mast in honour of this brave little boy and a school went into mourning.
“Mommy, why did he have to die? It’s so unfair! He was only 7 years old!”
“Mommy, I think he is missing his Mommy and Daddy in heaven….”
“Mommy, can his Mom and Dad have another baby and call him the same name?”
“Mommy, I’m sad, I’m sad I am not going to see him again.”
All these questions I answered to the best of my ability while holding back the tears, because although I may not have known the family extremely well, as a mother, I couldn’t even try to comprehend such a loss.