I don't like to talk about death in front of WCK. I've never explained what officially happened to the mothers of Nemo and Bambi. I even get a little uncomfortable talking about how all of the dinosaurs died out. Somehow, though, she picked up on what the word "die" means. A few months ago, out of the blue, she asked me if I had any grandmas. When I said no, she asked, "Did they die?" I was very surprised. Yes, I said, they did die. She asked why. I said it was because they got very old. She said, "It's OK, Mommy," and patted me on the arm. Then she didn't bring it up again, and everything was fine.
Today we were having what I thought was a fun conversation about how someday she'll be a grownup like me and I'll be a little old lady. Suddenly, her eyes grew wide.
"Are you going to DIE?" she asked, horrified.
I explained that everyone dies, but I wasn't going to die for a long, long, long, long, long time. Not until I was a very old lady, and she was very old herself. I realize this is a bit of a stretch, considering the looming cancer situation, but ... you never know.
WCK could not be consoled. "YOU'RE GOING TO DIE!" she wailed. "I DON'T LIKE IT WHEN YOU DIE!"
Seriously. It was horrible. Horrible. I did not want to be having this conversation. What was I supposed to say? Finally, I just went for it.
"OK," I said. "I promise you I will never die."
Whew. I know this was probably the wrong thing to say, but I really did mean it sincerely. I will figure out a way to fix it. For example, I could just become a vampire. Everything will be fine.