Sunday, April 26, 2015

A garden; and mortality


Grandson announced that he wanted me to take him to Dr Neill's Garden, down by the shores of Duddingston Loch.


As you can imagine, I was more than willing.


He's a lovely companion but does tend to chat on about traffic lights and road signs, of which there are mercifully few - none - in the garden.


Then we came home and made scones - after what I think was his third set of questions in the past couple of weeks about death. This time: why do I have to die? what will it be like when I die? will the days go on after I die? I'm not sure why the little soul is worrying about this; possibly because of the demise of our cats or maybe because he sees pictures of his great-grandparents around our house and his parents' departed guinea pigs around his house. I don't remember worrying about death when I was three. I didn't like my mother putting bows in my hair; I was frightened of big dogs; and I was rather shy - all of these would be about that age. But death? And yet I knew about my father's father, who had died a few months before I was born.

What can one say to him? I tried to reassure him that he didn't need to think about this for a long time and that it would just be like going to sleep. Death is indeed not a cheering prospect but I suppose that as adults we become reconciled to it and can see that if we all lived for ever, there wouldn't be room for the new little people. I do wish my mum were still around, though, at least for a bit longer. No one ever appreciates you as much as your mum... and she would have loved to see the little ones growing up.

Anyway, he enjoyed making the scones and we all enjoyed eating some of them. It's all you can do, really. Try to do a bit of good; look at flowers; eat the odd scone; tidy up; and hope for the best.

11 comments:

  1. Dear wee Boy! Try and find out why he is asking that. Sometimes it's not what we think.
    That looks like a lovely garden to visit.

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  2. Dr Neill has a lovely garden, for sure! I think children start to wonder about abstract things they can't see, touch or feel......it must be a huge world to a little person.

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  3. Hope for the best....yes that is all we can do........and if those scones were cheese then I am very jealous.

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  4. With my own small boys I believe that having short-lived pets (especially goldfish) helped them to see that death is part of life. Plants dying and seeds sprouting in the garden helped, too. I'm sure the scones helped a lot.

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  5. Your lovely grandson is so lucky to have loved-ones who will answer his questions gently and honestly. Normal to think about and ask such things, and too often the visible discomfort of adults can start creating discomfort and taboos and secret worries from an early age. If I was in your position and subject to his current obsession with road-signs, I'd be rather glad he has deeper interests too :-)

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  6. Awww, what a lovely post Pam. "No one ever appreciates you as much as your mum" -- isn't that the truth? I loved this -- and would have to add, perhaps your grandmother also?

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  7. What a lovely picture of him making the scones. I have no answer to 'why' and I never did.

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  8. I think you are doing a wonderful job talking to your grandson. And he may not be asking because he is worried about anything.....

    What a treasure it is to have grandparents who live nearby and with whom one can spend so much time. I was blessed that way and it's still a joy to remember them though they have both been gone for a very long time.....

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  9. Such serious conversations you are having. I still wonder about death and whether days will go on after I die (at least for me!)

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  10. I love your last sentence - it sums up everything about later life, I think.

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  11. Poor you ! It's not the easiest thing to explain to a child .
    I went on a course on how to counsel grieving children .... and still don't know . The main focus seemed to be on listening to what the child thought ... ( Yes , I know , not very helpful , but these courses never were ! )
    My elder grandson has worked it out for himself thus ; His mother gave birth to him and he'll grow up , have adventures and then when she gets old , he'll look after her till she dies . Then it's her turn to be the baby , grow up , have adventures etc. Till it's his turn again .

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