My older son, who is nearly 5, eating his breakfast, asked me today unexpectedly:
“When Anthony is sick again will he die? “
I was both shocked by his understanding of Anthony’s condition and even more that it came out of the blue. You may think that your child is still little but in fact in some ways is more mature than many adults. It surprised me that he can be so open about it and quite rightly not even slightly embarrassed by this question; (to the contrary to many others, including the closest relatives).
I had tears in my eyes when explaining about Anthony’s illness and the process of death but did not hide my tears and did not put a brave face. In the end I hope and believe that only honest answer and sincere emotional response is appropriate in such a situation. My little boy seamed to understand that his little brother is very ill and unfortunately we all have to accept the fact that this horrible day will sooner or later come and take him to, let’s hope, some better place where we can all meet some day. We can only picture ourselves in this better world, all together playing with our little angel, free of sorrow and pain.
Questions like that happened and will happen. And there is no way we can prepare ourselves for them. I guess the only thing we can do is not to avoid the difficult topics and show our emotions. It’s all right to cry.