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Conversations about death (and birth) with a two-year-old

Conversations about death with a two-year-old Aimee Cartier Blog
Ever since someone in her life has died, (I wrote about it here and here.) death and dying have become a regular part of conversations with my two-year-old daughter Atalie.  Since this is really the first time she’s encountered it, like many new concepts (including birth: see below), she now even incorporates it into her imaginative play.  The result has been actually– hilarious!  She has my husband and I laughing (mostly covertly) about it all of the time, and I feel certain our dear friend Andy (the one who died and introduced this concept to Atalie) is laughing right along with us.  Here is a glimpse, three gems of how a two-year-old processes this aspect of life.

Wait, I guess before I do that I should premise with saying that before Andy died we told our children about it.  Since Andy was a huge part of our life, and also since both my husband and I were at his house a lot during the last days of his body finally succumbing to cancer, we wanted to explain to them why we were less than present at home.

It was surprisingly simple.

“Andy is dying.  That means you won’t ever see him again in person.”

“Andy is dying.  This is a very special thing.  It only happens once in a person’s lifetime, and once in our lifetime so we are going to be with Andy right now as much as we can.”

“Andy died.  That means he no longer has a body.”

Here are a few of the gems, which I know Andy was giggling at right along with me– especially the first one!

Conversation One:

A: Is that a picture of Andy?

Me: Yes and Candise.

A: Andy is dying?

Me: Andy is already dead.  He doesn’t have a body anymore, he is just a spirit now.

A: Andy is a SPIDER!? (Her surprised eyes get big and round and she’s giggling at what a funny joke/trick it is that Andy turned into a spider!)

Me: A SPIRIT, Andy is a SPIRIT now. (Laughing and winking inside at Andy the spider.)


Conversation Two:

A: Are there horses there? (Speaking of a random place we are going.)

Me: No. No horses.

A: Why? Because they died?

Me: Um, no. There never were any horses there.


Conversation three:

A: I don’t have any beds at my house so I’m going to sleep at the party. I don’t have any beds at my house because them died. And they just died. They did. (Looking at me for some comment.)
Me: Yeah. That happens.
A: (Shrugs.) Yeah. So I’m going to sleep at the party.


Conversely, it was Andy’s wife, Candise, (and Andy’s unborn daughter, Hattie) who also introduced my daughter to the concept of birth.  Ever since Candise was pregnant, she being the first person my daughter knew who was carrying a child, one of Atalie’s almost daily games is, “I have a baby in my belly.”

Birth two-year-old style Aimee Cartier BlogIt somehow seems beautiful, powerful, and poignant that it was the same family of our close friends who introduced such huge concepts to my children.  I am unlikely to forget this and it feels nice to have it as a precious memory.  I’ll probably still be thinking about it when my kids are grown adults, or every time they encounter these experiences of life.  Knowing it came from our beloved friend and his life well lived makes my heart smile.

This one’s for you Andy Royer the spider. 😉



Birth and death Aimee Cartier Blog














Aimée Cartier is an author, psychic, and intuition teacher.  You can find out more about her and her work at SpreadingBlessings.com.

Understanding Death and Birth two-year-old style Aimee Cartier Blog

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