The “death talk” in a lot of parents’ minds is akin to the “sex talk” – something you know you’ll eventually have to talk about but you’re perfectlycontent to put it off for as long as is humanly possible.
I had to explain death to Cara much earlier than I thought I would have to when our cat died. But, up until a couple of days ago, I had lucked out and hadn’t had to discuss any human deaths. And then, Cara saw the tail end of a news report about the Amy Bishop/UAH shooting and the questions started.
“Mommy? What did that lady do? Why is she so mad? Why is she on TV? What does tragedy mean?”
The questions continued for a good ten minutes after the news was changed back to cartoons. It would be just my luck that the one time I switched the television from cartoons to the local news – which we never watch – there would be a story on about a triple homicide.
Truth be told, I ignored the questions for a while. I was making dinner and the dishwasher was on and if you’ve ever heard our dishwasher, you’d understand how “Sorry. I couldn’t hear you because the dishwasher was on.” could be a plausible excuse for ignoring not hearing someone.
Once it became abundantly clear Caroline would not be ignored, I sat her down and decided to give her just enough information to satisfy her without scaring her.
“The woman was very, very angry. And she did something that was horrible and she hurt a lot of people.”
Cara looked me square in the eyes and asked me “Where’s Hello Kitty?”
Here I had been putting off this stupid talk for like thirty minutes or something and I give her this age appropriate explanation of why someone would go off their rocker and murder their coworkers and she asks me where Hello Kitty is?!
All that worry for nothing.
You gotta love the things that are important to a three year old.
*This was originally posted in April on Deep South Moms but Deep South Moms is closing and we were all told to grab our posts if we wanted to…so I did.*