There are four little LoveJoinMes. The eldest is four. He is very inquisitive and is very good with numbers and maths. Today in the car he asked the question “when we get to a big number, do we go back down and get to zero like when I was a baby?” I explained that your age just keeps getting bigger and then stops when you die. He asked why it stops and I explained that that’s when the person ‘stops’. Only they don’t in so many ways. He asked me to explain dying (I have before but it’s a bit of a tricky concept for him to understand). I told him that it’s when someone’s really poorly or their body stops working properly, like with her. I said that his auntie and I are doing a project and we are doing kind things for people to honour, remember and celebrate her. He said, “like when we went to the countryside (cemetery) and left the cards of seeds!”.
I asked him if he could think of any other kind things that we could do for someone. Without hesitation he said, “we could take some flowers to the people when their body stops working”. Just then we drove past the cemetery where we left the seeds and I explained that all the grave stones were where the people’s bodies were. He asked if we could take flowers to where hers was. I reminded him that she is on the cliff, where we spread her ashes (I may have explained cremation using the words “sprinkles” after he asked what ashes and dust were! So he may now tell others that her sprinkles are on the grass on the cliff!). He said we should take flowers there at first and then he said “or we could take them to her house!” Death and its finality are still so lost on him. I explained we couldn’t, that she was gone and would always be gone and we can take them to the cliff like he said. So we will one day soon. And we’ll carry on teaching him and the other little ones her ways of kindness too; how people’s bodies may stop but their love lingers, and that their effect on the world can be huge and can ripple through to reach others years after their death.
Just as we pulled up on the drive he said, “but, mummy, why can’t we just magic her back?”. “We can’t” I replied.
Oh to be four! With sprinkles not ashes, with magic and kisses fixing even the most difficult of things.