How To Talk About Death To Your Children (2006)

Cate has been watching Cinderella and other Disney movies which mention the subject of death of a family member. So she has been mentioning that subject to me. Does everyone die? Kids who are 5 years old don’t die for a long long time right? What does it mean to die? Dad, when are you going to die?

I tell her that a human being has a physical form and a spiritual form. The spirit is how we think and what we feel in our hearts. The spirit defines who we are, not the physical form. When someone dies, the body can no longer hold the spirit and the spirit will go far away but it still lives in the hearts of everyone who love him/her. So the person never really dies. We may miss that person, but we just have to close our eyes, and imagine that person next to us and it’s as if she is right there.

This week I visited my grandmother’s grave like all Chinese people this time of the year. It reminds me again what a great person my grandmom was, living until 100 years old and lived a life of no regrets. I was at her grave and I wept for her, I wept for myself and this past year of my life and how hard it was. I told her about my life so far and told her I’ll be strong. It helped me to think back to what I said to Cate and I thank god that I have my daughter to make me think honestly about my life.