It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings

I recently joked about my daughter laying claim to my heels when I’m dead. Little does she know that by then my shoes will be terribly out of style. That’s not funny, some may say. That’s right, it’s not funny. It’s hysterical.
Lately, all of the children have been fascinated with my inevitable demise. Sneaking hard questions in between the incoherent ramblings and utterances of child-like innocence.

“Can we have a snack? Do you think Fiona is going to stay an Ogre forever? Do you wash your hair EVERY day? Are you going to die?”

*Insert audible throat kerfuffle*
I explain that death is just another part of being alive. That, everything that lives and breathes must also die and rest. After the one-thousandth questioning, I threw in that death was a mystery.
“What’s a mystery?”
“Well, it’s something you can’t explain. It’s like how the inside of a Hot Pocket can only be ice cold or surface of the sun hot. There is no explanation. There are only more questions.”
The Hot Pocket analogy seemed to tide them over until the next day.
My son, in particular, has been enthralled with the idea of death. Head cocked, I see the wheels turning in his brain, picking apart the anatomy of death like a crow on prey. Leaving nothing but the bones after a swirl of questions that leaves him satiated and me, searching for wine.

“Mama, will you be VERY old when you die?”

“I hope so.”

“Will I be very old?”

“I want nothing more than that.”

“Will you die before me?”
“I hope so.”
“I will miss you.”
“I will miss you too.”
“What’s for dinner?”

And, like that, life returns and pizza must be made. Ok, pizza must be ordered and, the constant reminder that life moves swiftly and the living must eat hangs from my legs, swings from my arms and chews on my shoulder. Death may always be at our heels, but, at least I will still be wearing mine tomorrow with care not to scuff the toes so eldest has something snazzy, yet appropriate, to wear to my funeral.
Embracing my mortality one soft spoken question at a time. Hoping I’m helping them embrace it as well so that when it’s time for me to jump off the carousel, they gleefully stay put on their ponies for several thousand more turns.
Round and round we go. Where we stop, nobody knows.










Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Just hilarious and awesome!!!

  2. My son who is almost 6 asks me more often than I think is normal (maybe?) about death. My death, his death, will we be able to find each other in Heaven…Half the time the conversation leaves me with a lump in my throat because, who the hell really knows?? Children do not come with a manual, who knew?!

    • Most of our conversations leave me scanning the room for the closest box of tissues. It’s so difficult to act naturally with SO much emotion on the line. But, so far, I’ve yet to have a truly embarrassing breakdown. If you find the manual, e-mail me a copy! Thanks for reading.

  3. Those are the toughies, aren’t they? So difficult to answer, yet to them, the answers are so simple. Though perhaps not all as readily accepted as your ingenious Hot Pocket analogy. 😉

  4. Even the profound ultimately gets set aside for more practical questions! As it should be!!

  5. It is such a hard conversation. And I see the fear in their eyes. My son doesn’t want me to get old. He wants me to be new. But yes, life returns to normal with the demands of the mundane, where death is an abstract – something I hope it is for a long, long time.

  6. I’m telling you, Hot Pockets can explain everything. The ice in the middle of them is still a conundrum though. Still, my children should be prepared to only inherit a couple boxes of Hot Pockets, when I die. Great post and beautifully written, my friend!

  7. You still wear heels because I can’t seem to get enough of my Uggs, lol!! Seriously, this was hilarious and thanks for sharing 🙂

    • I sometimes blow the dust off of those puppies and give them a spin around town. GENERALLY, it only lasts about 10 minutes before my toes are screaming in agony. The girl just may get some wear out of them!

  8. I freaking love you. I think we should be blog buddies. (-: Thank you for making me smile this morning in a well-written, sarcastic, hilarious way.

    http://www.deannajsmith.com

  9. But Hot Pockets will never die, right? Please tell me Hot Pockets will never die. *starts to tear up*

  10. I have friends whose kindergartners don’t know that people die. My kids have a pretty good understanding. 5 yr old knows it’s what happened to Grandpa and Harry Potter’s parents, 3 yr old knows heaven is where God lives, and you get there by not holding a grown up’s hand in the parking lot.

    My kids have never had a Hot Pocket, and now I’m feeling negligent. I hope I don’t die before I serve them one!

    -Amy

  11. This is fantastic writing wrapped in a deceptive layer of Hot Pockets. My favorite kind.

  12. My girls have been staking their claims on some of my Christmas decorations. The ones that are particularly sentimental to me are the ones they want. I started to feel that I shouldn’t promise anything to any of them lest they try to hasten the process of my demise in order to get their hands on the goods sooner rather than later. 🙂

  13. I just had a Hot Pocket yesterday. As I was jumping around yelling, waving my hand at my newly scalded taste buds (my microwave obviously sailed through the ice cold stage right on to “surface of the sun hot” stage), I had no idea I was giving my kids a life lesson about death. Good to know. Thank you.

  14. Anonymous says:

    That was so well-written. I wouldn’t have bet you could write a life poem using Hot Pockets and have it be so moving but there it is. *sniff

  15. Well written and very true.

  16. This is such a weird thing to discuss with your kids, but sounds like you handled it so well–and made us laugh (while craving Hot Pockets) in the process!

  17. Kids are great for this crap, huh? They’re all “pizza” and you’re standing over the sink contemplating cremation or burial.

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