A Terminal Conversation
A terminal conversation sounds fearsome. Surprisingly, it’s not a thriller in the making, and no, I haven’t caught a killer illness.
Of course, chats between grandpas and grandkids happen constantly. For instance like the time the darts hit the TV and a thoughtful moment.
Out of the mouths … (of babes and sucklings)
As ever, we rambled away about almost anything and, somehow, stumbled on to the topic of death and dying. There we were, watching the “birdies” after we’d topped up the feeders. As you’ll know, there aren’t many boundaries in chats with a four-year-old, not even the end.
‘If we didn’t feed the birdies, they’d die.’
‘Maybe, at least when we feed them they’re not so hungry.’
‘But they might die?’
‘Yes, they might.’
‘Grandpa, why do people die?’ She’s sat on my knee snuggled in. Oh my, where did that come from?
‘We all die one day, it’s how things are,’ she nods.
‘Will I die?’
‘Well … yes … I think so, but that’s a long way off.’ I have to say, she doesn’t look concerned. ‘I’ll die long before you.’
‘You love me, don’t you?’ She lifts her little head and gazes up into my eyes. Talk about windows of the soul.
‘You know I do.’
‘When you’re dead, will you still love me.’ Wow, that’s a huge philosophical ask. I give her a wee squeeze, connect once more with her large, luminous eyes as they search mine for an answer. I share a gentle smile of reassurance. ‘Of course I will.’
‘Will you tell me a story about a princess?’ … Ahh, the magical sign of an accepted answer. In me, a thoughtful feeling stirs … such trust.