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In early March, I lost someone very close to me- a dear aunt, who meant the world. Her death was not completely unexpected, since she had been ailing for a long time. In many ways, it was a release, since she’d seen too much pain.

When it happened, I was in the hospital. So was Gy. In my grief, I rushed in to see the body and left her behind with V.

He gently drew her close and explained in simple terms what ‘Death’ meant.

He talked about cars. About how they become old and needed to be given away. He said the body was the same way. When it became too old, it needed to go.

This was easy for her to understand, since we had recently sold our car, after ten years of use.

He then told her about the soul. He said that her great-aunt was not gone and lived inside her. She lived every time Gy excitedly wore a new dress. My aunt was a flawless seamstress. When I was born, she single-handedly stitched 28 dresses for me! She continued to stitch, sew and embroider well into her illness. Every time she saw Gy, she would beckon her towards her and take her measurements.

 ‘So, she won’t be able to make those dresses anymore?’ Her eyes brimmed with tears.

‘No, darling. But she is free from all pain now.’

With a mature look, she wiped her tears and said, ‘I think she will be happy with God.’

Watching my young child accept Death was an acknowledgement that she was growing older. She would need to face the world, its joys, its fears, its sorrows and its smiles.

And I knew, that it was the right time for her to learn this valuable lesson.

Word count: 297
The answer to the Charades post is ‘Tiger’. We were just playing with words, remember? Kudos to all of you who got it right 🙂


Written for the A to Z 2014 Challenge

D is for Dealing with Death

My theme for the month is : Introspection in shades of 11

Today’s recommendation for D is the clever Shilpa Garg and her post on Domestic Violence

Also linking this to the Ultimate Blog Challenge for April


Categories: A to Z

Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.


Nabanita · April 3, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Such an important lesson of life handled with so much maturity…

Random Thoughts Naba

Sirisha · April 3, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Life and death both happen and we have accept and move on. I have seen death when life was supposed to be at its blooming best. Its harsh and takes away a part of your soul but you move on and that life becomes part of a memory. Sigh!

Sushree Dash · April 3, 2014 at 8:51 pm

The ending lines imbibed a lot of meaning in them …thanks for sharing an insightful post .

The Sinhas at No 302 · April 3, 2014 at 8:58 pm

How difficult it can be to make kids understand such harsh truths of life.

Psych Babbler · April 4, 2014 at 12:06 am

That's a very nice way to get a child to understand. I think we need to be honest with kids about death and explaining to them in the simplest possible terms is the way to go. Depending on religious beliefs, heaven and god are great ways of explaining the finality that is death. Thank you for sharing this and please accept my condolences for your loss.

Swathi Shenoy · April 4, 2014 at 12:33 am

loved how well your son explained it 🙂 this post tugged at my heart ma'am.. may the love between siblings never end!

Rajlakshmi · April 4, 2014 at 1:34 am

Wow this is so beautiful. A mature way to explain kids about death. Sorry for your loss.

Dr. Gauri Kekre · April 4, 2014 at 3:06 am

It brought tears to my eyes, Gy's maturity. Your aunt is watching over all of you 🙂

Sreeja Praveen · April 4, 2014 at 3:13 am

Appreciate the stance taken by V, to explain something so deep to Gy, in so simple terms. Her acceptance signifies understanding to a great extent 🙂 It is a painful thing to lose people, but then it's a part of life !
Well written, Shailaja 🙂

Beloo Mehra · April 4, 2014 at 3:30 am

This is the first D post I am reading this morning. And I am speechless. Your daughter is a wise, old soul, Shailja. Her words reminded me of something my nephew said when he was 3 or 4, he had lost his father at the age of 2 and had a lot of questions about death.

Jayanta Tewari · April 4, 2014 at 4:18 am

A very serious topic dealt with care and sensitivity. I agree that adults should explain in simple terms rather than hide about these eventualities…A very well written post to start the morning 🙂

tulika singh · April 4, 2014 at 4:49 am

I love the way V handles Gy's queries and fears. It is hard for kids to understand death and dying. With our kids it's almost dinner table conversation.. 'When you die..' or 'after I die…' Not very nice at all because it kind of trivializes the whole thing. The concept of 'never coming back' hasn't sunk in yet.

Archana · April 4, 2014 at 5:42 am

A touching post! Its always difficult to accept loss and explaining it to kids is even more difficult.

Carol Graham · April 4, 2014 at 5:42 am

Very nicely done on a sensitive subject. I was young when my mother died but it is difficult at any age to grasp the reality, how much more so for children?

sulekkha · April 4, 2014 at 6:27 am

A sad lesson but we all need to learn it someday, you explained it so well to the little one.

Srilakshmi Indrasenan · April 4, 2014 at 6:37 am

Neatly done post! I am so jealous of you, you are a lovely mother and the way you handled this topic to the kids is brilliant!!

Participant|AtoZ Challenge 2014
Smile, it makes (y)our day!

Aditi · April 4, 2014 at 7:43 am

This made me teary eyed….for the loss, the way you wrote and of course Gy's wisdom! Lv!

Aparna · April 4, 2014 at 7:46 am

Such observation and maturity in this age is really a lesson for us all

aparna adhikari · April 4, 2014 at 7:48 am

very nicely handled….these are very sensitive topics hats off to u…

ovengoodies · April 4, 2014 at 8:40 am

My condolences, Shailaja. It's hard to accept a final parting but even more so for kids experiencing it for the very first time. Loved the way you and V have dealt with it. I have your blog bookmarked as my go-to parenting guide! Thanks for sharing such a personal experience.

Prasanna Rao · April 4, 2014 at 8:58 am

I know teaching young ones about death and talking about it is difficult and I think you have explained it with great maturity.

Mina Menon · April 4, 2014 at 9:11 am

Pls do tell ur husband that he is done a fab job of explaining death to the little one! Hugs to all of you

sugandha · April 4, 2014 at 10:17 am

I came to learn of that dreaded word very late in my life, and it was really tough to accept. Your husband has done a good thing by explaining it to her.

Aparna · April 4, 2014 at 10:22 am

What a lovely way to explain this subject that even we don't understand very well after all. Gy is sounding more and more mature :). I remember D heard about the subject very early thanks to my aunt who passed away when she was 3 – had to deal with a lot of night terrors with her worrying that I'm going to die too :(. Wish I had been creative enough to come up with such explanations …

Leo · April 4, 2014 at 10:43 am

Indeed, a touching post. I think how it was explained made all the difference. · April 4, 2014 at 11:03 am

It's good that your husband explained to your daughter about death instead of avoiding the topic. Children have an immense capacity to understand things.

precari0us · April 4, 2014 at 11:47 am

It is so important that the truth of life is imparted to the kids with sensitivity and calm. Wonderful handling of the situation by V. And yes she is really growing.

– Kripali
(AJ's wHooligans)

Richa Singh · April 4, 2014 at 1:36 pm

More power to you Shailaja. I understand that at some level being a parent explaining death to a kid can be heartbreaking in it ownself. But your husband did a fab job…


Eli Z · April 4, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Sorry about your aunt.. A very heartfelt post on an unavoidable aspect of life..

sitara nair · April 4, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Last year I had a tough time …handling kids…when I lost one of my family members….
The way V dealt with this is appreciable….
Making a little one understand ….about Death is a hands on task

Sue · April 4, 2014 at 5:13 pm

Learning about death is a difficult transition but I like the explanation give, I also appreciated how you showed us your Aunt and her gifts.

Sarah Allen · April 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm

So sorry for your loss. But thank you for sharing such a beautiful post.

Sarah Allen
(From Sarah, With Joy)

Michelle Liew · April 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm

You offer a clear a rational perspective that saw you through much sadness. Blessings.

Inderpreet Kaur Uppal · April 4, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Such a beautiful explanation. Will remember to teach my 5 yr old the same.
God bless and may she rest in peace.

Tammy J Rizzo · April 4, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Thank you for this post. Dealing with death can be very difficult, and helping a child deal with death for the first time is a daunting endeavor. We recently lost my father, and my brother had to explain death to his five-year-old son. I don't know if the Short One got the point or not – he keeps saying how he'll see Grampa again when he comes back to life. None of us are sure if he's talking about resurrection, or about respawning like in the video games the Short One plays every chance he gets.

Vidya Sury · April 5, 2014 at 6:00 am

Blessings to you and Gy.

There's something about people whose names begin with “V” eh?


Shilpa Garg · April 5, 2014 at 8:32 am

Such a wonderful way to explain the concept of death to a child!! God bless the soul of your dear aunt!
And thanks a ton for recommending my post, Shailaja! Appreciate it! ♥

walkersvillemom · April 5, 2014 at 8:40 am

It's so hard for children to understand death at first. It's also hard on the grown-ups who have to find a way to explain it – especially when they are hurting themselves. It must have been comforting to have help with that. Thanks for sharing a touching story.

PhenoMenon · April 5, 2014 at 10:01 am

A great loss and very well written. Death always leaves behind some emptiness


Kathy Combs · April 5, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Death is so hard to explain to a child…no matter how old they are. My daughter was 3 when my Dad died and she took it hard. They had been so close. She loved her Pa Pa so. I went and bought her a story book that explained it. She drew pictures for him and we put them in the casket so Pa Pa would always have them. There is no easy way to handle such a loss. We can only do the very best we can. ♥

Writercat59 · April 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved aunt. I liked your touching post and thought it very moving. Death is hard for children to comprehend and accept, and even for we older folks who encounter it more and more as we age and know that one day we will join them. Lovely post!

Ida Chiavaro · April 7, 2014 at 11:08 am

I love how V explained how your great aunt continues to live. It may be a hard concept for her to comprehend but it's a valuable life lesson. Reflex Reactions

Amrit Rukhaiyaar · April 17, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Sad that you lost your aunt and feeling happy for the way your child understood and accepted death…

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