you think they forget

7 Jun

Remember the time I told you about the death talk I had with my son?

It made me sad & it made me panic but then I decided not to talk to my children about death again until they were mature enough to comprehend it.

While I was busy clearing out some of the children’s toys to give away, Yiannis approached me and showed me a small address book.

Yiannis: Mama?

Mom: Yes, honey.

Yiannis: Whose is this?

Mom: Mine

Yiannis: Can I have it please?

Mom: Oh, honey. I need this in order to write all my contacts down in case I lose my phone.

Yiannis: Oh, ok. Can I have it when you die then??


Mom: Ehhhhhmmmmmm, what do you mean? I knew perfectly what he meant but I was too shocked to put my thoughts into words.

Yiannis repeats the question like there was no big deal.

Mom: But honey, how on earth did you think about that now?

Yiannis: You will eventually die mom. When you do die, can I have it?

Mom: Yes, honey, but let’s hope that this day is still very far away and by all means, if this address book is so important to you, please take it now.

Yiannis: Thanks mom.

The reason that I feel an enormous amount of guild when I lose my patience and misbehave is that Yiannis is old enough to remember. The good times and the nasty times.  The only thing I truly hope is that he will have an abundance of the good times which will leave little place for the darker moments in his young life.

Until next time



On another note: If you ever have a shitty parent day, do yourself a favour and watch ‘The Beasts of the Southern wild’

13 Responses to “you think they forget”

  1. ramblingsfromamum June 7, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Yiannis like many children do not truly know what ‘death’ means – to them ‘when you die’ is like ‘when you go down the street’ – try not to be shocked my lovely. Unless you are the mother from hell and screaming, punishing on a minutely basis, he will not remember the few times you lose your patience or get angry. Do not think of them as ‘dark moments’ that he shall remember – for he won’t. xxx

    • wonderlandbytatu June 9, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

      that is so nice and reassuring, especially coming from my experienced MM. Thank you, you made me feel so much better xxx

  2. lahacienda June 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    Unbelievable. It’s quite cruel too (“You WILL eventually die!”). But, like the above commenter said, I seriously doubt he comprehends the meaning of death, so don’t take it personally. In his mind, it’s just a way to make a definitive statement.

    • wonderlandbytatu June 9, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

      yes, I am sure he hasn’t actually grasped the exact meaning of it, he knows and understands that the person that dies will not return (because he has asked a few times about my grandparents and I always remind him that they have died and we can not really see them again but they still remain in our hearts).

  3. Ice Beautiful June 7, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    I also think that children do not understand the meaning of death. I remember the first death stroked me heavily when I was about 12-13 and I think I was a very sensitive kid. I had seen dead people before that age – participated in funerals of my great grandmother and some other old relatives and it have not affected me at all before I went into all the existentialistic thoughts of adolescence. Of course all people are different and we are told that our kids are more smart and sensitive than we were in their age but still I think you must keep it calm and talk and react to death as a natural stage of life. Kids are learning to fear death from your reaction. Kids are learning from what you tell them and not only – they learn from your behavior too. So try not to get stressed and you should not be giving the book – do not let kids to learn the emotional power of talking about death.

    • wonderlandbytatu June 9, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

      I have tried explaining to them that death is something that comes naturally, usually after someone has lived a full life, but they have witnessed the sorrow that came along a death of a friend and they could not understand the ‘logic’ behind that. Eventually they will.

  4. Maria Naxaki June 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    You have indeed mentioned this subject before and it had made me think – of course I am not a mum still so I really don’t know how I will react when all this knocks on my door, but I do agree with the previous comment that we should present death to kids as a natural way of life – it’s true that they will not fully understand and it doesn’t have to be a morbid conversation to the full extent, but to be able to discuss this, to some extent, openly and frankly since as you say they don’t forget, they will eventually understand a bit better that it is part of life – even we as adults have a hard time digesting death, and you are never quite prepared, so I don’t know if there is a “proper” textbook age when you should have this conversation, but I think the right age is when your kids start wondering about these things –

    • wonderlandbytatu June 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

      thank you for your lengthy reply my dear friend and soon to be mom M! The thing about death is that it’s not something you plan to explain to your children but unfortunately at some point the opportunity comes along (whether you like it or not).

  5. June 7, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Odd interaction. Why was it on his mind? Why the address book?

  6. Gina June 9, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    My children lost their father 3 years ago. He was 40. They were 6 and 9. I told them in a second – because there was no other way – . They had never dealt with death before, and they knew -like any kid knows – that only old people die. For many many months after this, they woke up every day and before they left for school they used to ask me “mom, are you going to die today?” “you look a little pale. Are you dying?” Nowadays, after 3 years, they still ask the most bizzare things about death. They asked me how will they be able to go to the toy store if I die today, which is the day I promised to take them etc. And they are kids that have lived death. So Tat, don t worry. It is true. Your son, has no idea of what it is and that is why he asks like that.

    • wonderlandbytatu June 9, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

      I can not begin to imagine how you manage to overcome (on a daily basis) such a tragedy. It must be such a shock for a child to lose a parent. I am very sorry for your loss. You are brave. xxx

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