- Oct 2012
the struggle with death
Self-awareness is a supreme gift, a treasure as precious as life. This is what makes us human. But it comes with a costly price: the wound of mortality. Our existence is forever shadowed by the knowledge that we will grow, blossom, and, inevitably, diminish and die. - Irvin Yalom
This weekend my son had an existential crisis. He started thinking about death and specifically my impending death bothered him. it went something like this:
G: How old are you ? 100?
Me: No much younger than that.
G: I hope you get to be 177.
Me: oh yeah?
G: Yeah I don't want you to ever die and leave me.
(at this point he became kind of emotional. quivering lip and teary eyed.)
I explained it from my framework and am satisfied, but its a curious thing when a child starts to ponder such. I remember being around 4 or 5 when I started thinking about it. I saw on the news that the real smokey the bear had died, and my mind took several jumps and realized, "Oh crap! were all going to die and worst of all...my parents are going to die!"
Anyways, just curious:
when did you first discover death? How did you cope? (talk to parents, etc) Also how did you explain it to children?