Posted by: Modern Mom | April 23, 2013

Life is Tough. And then You Die.

We pass a small cemetery on the way to and from my son’s preschool. Yesterday, when we went home there was a funeral service. The boys asked me what was going on. Probably thinking it was a party or something a lot more fun. I explained that it was a funeral, that someone had died, and that people were remembering them and paying their respects before they were buried.

I thought I’d be hit with tough questions like, “what happens when someone dies?” and “will you die someday?” But what I got hit with was “How do people die?” This lead into a big discussion which I turned in my favor, using it to outline some of the things they shouldn’t do. Like play in the street. Or climb high things. Or ride motorcycles. Or leave the house.

Anyway… I was proud of my ability to think on my feet and turn it into a reinforcement discussion.

Fast forward 4 hours. My 4-year-old is complaining about some horrible injustice placed upon him by his mother – the oppressor. To which my reply was, “Life is tough.”

Without missing a beat, in walks my 2-year-old with the follow up, “And then you might die. And someone would put you in a box in the ground. Dead.”

Consequently, one of the older fish in the tank died last night. Crap. I hate foreshadowing. At least we had tackled the subject somewhat. And he didn’t get to go in the ground. He went where all the other fish in this house before him have gone. In the toilet. Amen.



  1. Fun times, there. Well, not the fish part, but the “life is tough and then you end up in a box dead part.” Would have been hard not to bust up laughing.
    On a related note, we have funerals at the church where I work (obviously) and they are usually outside of my office hours, but we had one on a day when I was in the office (with the girls) and Brian happened to work from home that day, and came in to help wrangle them during set up and everything. It was so interesting to view the whole thing from innocent children’s eyes, without all the emotional junk we adults stick on it. From Teddie’s great excitement at the “Big beautiful box!” they brought in (“It must have some great treasure in it!” says the big sister knowingly–and she was right, sort of) to their discussion of playing in the back of the hearse, to Brian taking them in to see the body (“can we touch her?”), it was an interesting and somewhat thought provoking morning.


  2. Oh, my word! That’s simply hilarious!! I remember the first time I watched your boys and a fish died and it got flushed down the toilet before I even had a chance to examine it!!! I felt so bad! They sure do listen to their mom’s explanations, don’t they?!!!


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