My Gran died today. She was in her nineties, and her body had already made it clear during the last couple of years that time was short.
It is the first time my daughter has really thought about death. She knows about the concept, but this is the first death of a family member. I opted to explain it simply as “she got old.” I’m not sure of the best way, so this was my best go at it.
There was a moment of panic. “But momma, you’ll be old before I’m grown up!”
“No, darling. I will still be young when you’re all grown up.” That was enough reassurance for her, for now.
We talked briefly about it being sad for us, because we have to go on living without Gran, but we will see her again, and when we see her next, she will not be old, or hurting, and neither will we. It’s not at all sad on Gran’s side.
Samantha summed the situation up. “It is sad. And it’s happy, too. It’s both.” She thought about it for a moment more. “And that is beautiful.”
I am in awe of her.