A Spontaneous (and Hilarious) Conversation with Young Kids about Death
If you need a reminder that nearly any topic in life can be entertaining, just hang out with a kid for a while.
They’re frank, they’re candid, and they will say something insanely astute on a topic that makes adults all sorts of anxious like it’s nothing.
I’m honestly considering opening a therapy office staffed entirely by toddlers who can offer stream-of-consciousness, non-sequitur advice on all of life’s Big Issues, because honestly, sometimes they reveal to us that maybe things are a lot simpler than we like to think.
On that note, I present a brief and unedited recent conversation I had with our oldest two kids, ages almost 6 (“A6”) and 4, that deftly ties together two topics you never knew had a common thread–death, and chocolate.
(Man, did I say yet how hysterical kids are?)
Scene: Us (6, 4, and 1.5, on the way to school, passing cemetery)
Almost 6: Mommy, what is that?
Me: That is a cemetery.
A6: What is the cemetery?
Me: That’s where are you go after you die.
A6: I thought you went to heaven?
Me: Yes, your Spirit goes to heaven, but your body stays here.
4-year-old chimes in, points at headstones: Hey! I know what those are!
4: Those are were zombies come from!
A6: Oh yeah! I saw that in a movie once!
Me: What movie?
A6, thoughtfully: Did you know that mummies are not fiction?
Me: I did!
A6: There are even some mummies in Florida!
4: I know about mummies! Mummies are mommies!
Me: Well, not exactly.
A6: What are they?
Me: Well, in ancient Egypt, when people would die, they would wrap their bodies in long pieces of cloth to preserve them.
A6: What’s preserve?
Me: It’s something they do so they don’t decay.
A6: What’s decay?
Me: Well, it’s kind of when your body melts away.
Another pause, a little longer this time.
4: Melts away? Like when chocolate gets warm?
Me: Yes, exactly. Just like chocolate.
May we all see the world a little simpler today.
To death, and to chocolate!