A few years ago on the way to the home depot, I was talking to my daughter about sadness.
Our hamster was getting pretty old and I was concerned by how she might react when he died.
I wanted to talk to her about sadness in preparation.
I wanted her to know that feeling sadness is part of being human,
That it is part of the process of loss.
I also said that while sadness is natural,
it is also something that does not have to control our lives.
When Harry the hamster dies, we’ll be sad,
but with understanding and love we can deal well with that sadness.
My Daughter’s Wisdom
She stopped me and said…
“Dad, I don’t understand why people get so worked up over death!
I don’t think I’ll be even a little sad when Harry goes.
It is just the cycle of life! Everyone has to go.”
I was impressed as I usually am by the gems she comes up with
So I asked her:
“What should people do instead of being afraid or worried about death?”
“Well they should think of it as natural, a natural part of life.
They know it is going to happen,
So why worry about it?!”
I gave her a high five and asked her if I could share her perspective with my friends.
May she keep that outlook as she goes through life!
She Won’t Be So Strong When Faced With Reality
People often say that it will be different when she’s actually confronted with death.
In other words “when the time comes, she’ll be normal, you’ll see!”
I think the tendency to respond this way comes from facing something that is not the norm.
Being a bit abnormal is, I think, a good thing
when you look at what normal means in this world.
Detachment Comes From Perspective, Not Lack Of Emotion
I don’t think her perception of death comes from a lack of emotion,
she’s a very warm and loving person.
I think she has just grown up around people
who talk about death very naturally and who accept it very nicely.
I’m sure if I were to die tomorrow she would miss me a crazy amount.
She would be sad, but I don’t think she’d be sad that I died,
just that I’m not around.
Those are two very different things!