Raines: You sad, Mum? Cause someone die?
Me: Yes, honey. An amazing man named Steve Jobs. He made your iPod.
R: Ooooo….I know, Mum! We make him! We jus need some bones an- an- an- dese things (waves arms madly back and forth) go wike dis…joints! (grabs elbow) You know joints, Mum? And some BIG STWRONG MUSCLES and we make him Mum! That make you feel better!
Me: I wish we could, honey. But death really isn’t like that. Once you die, you don’t come back.
(long pause, R is thinking)
R: Death is terrwible.
Me. It sometimes feels that way. But death is a part of life, hon. Everything dies – this man Steve Jobs, the trees, birds –
R: Grandmabear died.
Me: Yes she did.
(R is quiet. Gives me a very sad look.)
Me: But you know what, honey? All of these things that die, people that die – like Steve Jobs and Grandmabear….they are all making room for new life. They died so there would be lots of room in this world for new babies just like little Pax.
R: Oh Mum! That so nice of them! I so prowd. I so prowd of Grandmabear.
I don’t quite know what he understands about death. It’s conversations like these where I really feel like I’m parenting without a net.
Raines and I had a conversation about Grammabear when he was here in August. After we talked about the last time we saw her and of missing her now, he said to me, “I think you need a hug, Nana.”