A young coworker, who is a mom of a 1½ year old toddler, came to me in tears this morning. Her little son’s best friend died last night. Nobody knows why the little boy died as of yet. Yesterday he was playing at daycare; today he’s dead. We both cried a bit as we talked about how to let her little boy know…if she should even let him know.
You see, the mother of the little boy who died is the daycare teacher for my friend’s son. The two little boys played together every day, and just yesterday the teacher mentioned how so inseparable the two tykes had become.
My advice: if the mom doesn’t come back to teach at the daycare, then tell her son that they moved away. A young child not even two years old doesn’t need to know the hard truth in life that little boys can die suddenly. I don’t know if this is good advice, but it’s what I said. Probably not, now that I think about it some more. Chances are her son will learn the truth as people talk about it at the daycare school. This is so heartbreakingly sad. I know that kids around the world deal with death at such a young age due to starvation, disease, war....but we Americans are so sheltered. We have hissies when our internet connection is lost or our football team loses, or someone talks too loud on their cell phone at the grocery store.
We sometimes forget to see all the blessings we have. Food. Shelter. Family. Love. The unconditional love of a child.
At four years of age, my son knows about God, heaven, hell, good choices and bad choices, and how each and every day we get to make choices to be either on God’s team or the Devil’s team. He knows my parents are both in heaven with God. He is such a little bundle of love. He always tells me how much he loves me, cuddles with me and sometimes voices his fear that I will die and leave him or that he will die and leave me. We talk about it when he feels the need and I reassure him as best I can, without having a crystal ball to look into the future. We talk of him being a grown man and I’ll be an old grandma someday.
I have no good answers for my friend or for the many people who face tragedy every day due to freak accidents, sickness, madmen…other than to love with all our might. Hug your kids, tell them you love them. They need to hear it. You need to show it. They need to know they are loved.