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April 07, 2009

The Lighter Side of Death

Scene: Sunny Sunday afternoon in Cape Town, driving past a very large graveyard in the Southern Suburbs.

Offspring: Mommy what’s that? (pointing at graveyard)

Me: That’s a graveyard dear, you see all those pieces of stone, those are gravestones.

Offspring: What’s a graveyard?

Me: It’s where the dead people are. When you die, that’s where you go.

Offspring: But where are they?

Me: Under the ground.

Offspring: (short pause to think) But mom, when you’re dead, doesn’t the sand go into your eyes?

Me: No dear, your eyes are closed and you’re having a very long sleep.

Offspring: (another longer pause to think) So, when you’re dead, is it forever?

Me: Yes. Death is forever (briefly considered going into long explanations about the soul and eternal life but decided not worth it whilst driving, so shelved for another day).

Offspring: So if I die, I will be under the sand, sleeping forever?

Me: Yes.

I sincerely hope I haven’t scarred my child for life! I subsequently tried to bring up the soul / eternal life discussion a day later but she was having none of it. She stuck to her guns about sand in eyes and death being forever.


  1. I think you handled it pretty well.

  2. Kids never ask those things when you're able to give them good answers, do they? She'll bring up the subject again -- when you're either (a) falling asleep at 11 p.m., or (b) late for an important appointment.

  3. Unless, of course, you get distracted by her again while driving and crash into a container of acid, in which case you'll just be vapourised.
    The water table near that cemetery is close to the surface- so the graves get soggy- and nearby houses drill into the water table to water their gardens...
    We have some lovely flowers near us...

  4. ha ha ha. You are not well,. yay