Its been more than 1 year since my father-in-law passed away ..Though we didn’t share an easy relationship , his death did leave a void in our lives . But as adults we are better equipped to deal with the finality of death . One understands ,even though the loss is forever ,that all who take birth have to die .That is the cycle of life . But how does one explain death to a 5 year old ? My little one has been asking questions about death ever since his grandfather died..Initially I told him ,when we grow old ,our body parts also grow weary .And then sometimes ,our body parts grow so tired that they can’t work anymore and stop altogether . When that happens ,we die . Just like his old toys that don’t work anymore . And then ,our souls make the journey to space to become stars and cast their light on their loved ones from there . So that we know that they are watching over us .That though they are not here with us in a tangible form ,yet they are looking at us ..
But then one evening ,after we came back from play ,my son snapped and said ” I don’t want star Dadu ,I want my old Dadu back ” ( he would call his grandfather Dadu)..For a moment I was speechless and then I folded him into my arms and told him ,that this unfortunatelyis a one way journey only …Then ,one day in the swimming pool ,a friend of his had come with his grandfather and he was showing off his newly learnt swimming skills to his grandfather .My little one stopped swimming ,looked at his friend’s grandfather and told him “My Dadu is dead and he will never come back” ..He said this in the straight ,dead -pan way only kids can say ..And then he turned to me and told me “I wish dadu hadn’t died “..It broke my heart .And I wondered how much he must be hurting inside and missing his grandfather . Despite my being around him all day ,despite his other set of grandparents being around it still cannot mitigate his loss …
Yesterday again he told me I wish Dadu hadn’t died . I told him,Professor Dumbledore says “To the well -organized mind,death is but the next great adventure.” .Which means Dadu is doing all the things there that he wanted to do here but couldn’t because his body was worn out .To which my munchkin added “He is going on adventures with Harry’s parents and with Sirius “. I nodded my head . I told him Dadu is having fun just like you have fun here …That seemed to have satisfied A for the moment .
But as a parent I am flummoxed at having to explain death to a 5 year old . Dealing with the aftermath .That Death is not a pause ,but a final full stop ..
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