Stay Curious.
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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Exploring Death: conversations with my four year old




Roscoe has been bringing up the subject of death a lot lately.


He asks matter-of-fact about the way death works and then unravels in disagreement and sadness when my attempts to deliver simple and honest answers (if I can call them that) miss his mark of four year old expectation.

He asks what will happen to us when we die.

Truthfully, my version of what happens leaves a lot to be desired, even for me, as we are agnostic—some days even atheistic. So I tell him (in these and other words) that our bodies stop working but that our energy lives on in the people who love us and who have ever been affected by us, and that our energy is literally recycled back into the earth and universe to nourish the future.

He wants to keep his energy, he cries in despair. 

He asks who will take care of his toys when he dies.

I sit there contemplatively silent, thinking to myself that there’s no need to worry about this as he’ll be moved on from toys, an old man at best. Yet I understand he lives in the here and now, and that his toys represent much more to him than I may comprehend.

I fumble over my words to explain some thing that will make any sense to him at all. He rescues me mid-sentence to say that he’s got it: his kids will take care of his toys for him! He’s satisfied and happy with this answer. I flinch, overcome with a warm wash of bitter sweetness imagining it.

Later, at dinner, he climbs up onto my chair, wraps his arms around my neck and pushes his warm little body against my chest. He whispers into my ear, “I love you so much. You are so special to me. I never want to lose you.”

I wonder if he’s thinking about death again. Mine or his. His inquiries and curiosities unnerve me.

The topic of death is one of my least favorite places to wander. Not now, when the boys are so tender and young. Not when our collective dreams (even our very purpose as parents) are so vested in one another at this time in our lives.

What troubles me is my inability to create a sense of safety for him. A truth, or knowing, that he can carry with him for certain. While I can stand to wrestle with the uncertainty of life, I wish for him to be protected from it a while longer. 

How does your own certainty or uncertainty on the subject of what happens when we die effect your ability to explore the subject with your kids?


3 comments :

  1. Woah...those are some seriously deep thoughts for a 4 year old. I've heard that it's a relatively common concept that little ones may struggle with...heck, I struggle with it as an adult! I actually really love the response you came up with and may incorporate that theory into how we talk about death. So far Lilah has just made comments such as, "oh, that mouse on the side walk is dead." but hasn't asked for further explanation. We are catholic (albeit lazy ones), so I try to talk about Heaven, but should our children choose a different route in life, I like the idea of our energy living on in those we've touched during life.
    I totally understand how you feel saddened by the fact that he doesn't carry a sense of certainty against such thoughts, but it is probably harder on you than him. And it sounds like it just makes him a more soulful person because of it. I honestly couldn't imagine such thoughts crossing my 4 year olds mind. R is wise beyond his years :)

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    1. I do think I am more fearful of death than he is, without awareness that death is permanent, inevitable, and that it happens to everyone. Most of our conversations end up with me crying to myself!! It is deep, and as a mom I feel so vulnerable. His innocence and the way he feels so intensely, it is challenging to help him navigate the topic. Particularly, when I don't feel strongly that I have a right answer for him.

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  2. When our cat Stevie died last year that opened the door to a lot of questions. Bella seems to go through times of being more curious about it and then once again less interested. I don't have any answers or insights for you but I do agree that it is really hard and jarring.

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