Daily Prompt #16: Oh Death, Ohhh Death

Once, while walking through the park, a friend asked me an interesting question…..

“How would you explain death to a child,” He asked.

“hehh, good one,” I said, looking a bit overwhelmed.

‘Seriously,” he insisted. “Imagine your child comes up to you with the cutest face, and asked, ‘What does dying mean, daddy’,” he explained, making beady eyes at me.

“Okay, honestly I don’t know; but, I doubt any parent will know what to tell their children in that scenario. Maybe something a bit softer to the mind so they aren’t scarred for life.”

“Which would be…” he persisted.

“Mmm, I mean I would go for something that covers all the bases and then adds a bit of cushion to it. Something like ‘When someone dies, it means you can’t talk to them anymore, you can’t eat a sandwich with them or have a glass of coffee, and you can’t write to them anymore. When it happens, everyone that loved this person gathers round and talks about their life.

“‘Whether good or bad, most will remember the good things about this person to help the memory live on a bit more. They wear black and stay quiet so everyone knows their sad, because no one wants to see someone they know go away forever. It’s okay to be upset about something like that, too. You see, when someone dies, we all lose them until we die, too. Until then, we can still remember all the things we liked about them’.”

“That was kinda poor,” he said

“What do you expect,” I said. “None of us know what death really is. Even if you set a religion for yourself, there’s no true evidence other than what’s written in text. Even then, who’s to say it’s even true. At the end of the day we’re all human, but I don’t think we fear death as much as we think we do.”

“Oh, and what is it that we fear more than death,” he asked.

“Dying only to realize that you’ve wasted your time living. Seeing what you could’ve done in hindsight, and having such desperation to go back and try one last time. Dying only to realize how precious your life really was,” I answered.

“Okay, that was pretty good, but since you don’t want any regrets, why don’t you try your death explanation to the jungle gym kids over there,” he said, motioning his head.

“How about not. Don’t really feel like getting arrested today. Besides, I’ll have plenty of time to practice when and if I ever had a kid. Thanks to this conversation, you’ve made me rethink that decision quite heavily,” I said.

“You do realize your wife makes that decision for you,” he questioned.

“Not if I’m not married, unlike some people,” I said, looking at him with a devious smile.

“Whatever,” he said.


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