October 20, 2007
I don’t deal well with death, I never have. I’d like to blame my parents (what kid doesn’t?) since they went out of their way to shield me from having to deal with the traumatic effects of losing a loved one. Even when we had to put our dog to sleep my mother took her to the vet while we were in school. When we arrived home she simply stated that the family pet had gone on a trip to a wonderful place where she would never experience pain. That was a lovely thought and helped us overcome the fact that we would never see the dog again but it really didn’t do much to prepare me for when I had to deal with a loss first hand. As I’ve gotten older I have had my share of opportunities to be introduced to the effects of losing a loved one. Each time seems to be harder and harder to try and understand why death is necessary. I promised myself that when I became a father I would not make the same mistake my parents did. I would find a way to teach my children about how death was a natural progression and that we must at some point face the realization of our mortality. Granted that is a little deep for a child to understand and I knew I would need to find a way to explain it in terms that they could understand without resorting to the analogy that my mother used on me when I lost my first pet.