The Tough Questions

I vaguely remember being four. That is the time of life when only major events are remembered, like the time I broke my arm and my big brother walked me home. Or the time my Daddy returned from time away and brought me an Alsatian doll in fancy dress. I was asleep and he woke me up to see it.

Well granddaughter Ivy has just turned four and she is verbal and full of questions. But she is definitely keeping her parents on their toes. You see, before she was born, their infant son passed away in an accident. She never met him but she knows lots about him and sees his photo every day on their wall.

My aunt lost her first child as well. Her daughter Evelyne later asked her “When I get to Heaven, will Jacqueline be older than me or will she still be a baby?” Now how to answer this? Ivy has trouble with such issues as well. How can Reed be her big brother when he never reached the age of two, no less four?

Leo and IvyMay17-2013LeoAndIvyIvy does not exactly ask questions. More, she makes observations and follows up with “Right Mommy?” and “Right Daddy?” And so she says things like “Kids can’t be outside without a grownup because they might die if a grownup isn’t outside with them. Right?” Well….

These days however the questions are coming full force. I remember too trying to make sense of the greater world, but I was not as good about asking questions. I was an observer mainly, afraid adults would find me questions silly. But Ivy asks “What makes a person die?” Her parents have told her “A person dies when they don’t need their body any more.” And so she thinks about this a while and then says: “Reed’s body was still good because he was just small and he couldn’t walk – bigger than Forrest but smaller than Leo. Right Mommy? Why did he get rid of his body?”

She is finding her own answers mostly…and she is going to be just fine about these things. I’m so thankful she is curious and verbal and that no one is keeping secrets from her. I adore this girl and am fascinated by the way her mind works. She’s making the road ahead easier for her little brothers too. Growing up is hard work!

Sharing with Claudia at  A Favorite Thing

About fromourisland

Gardener, knitter, wife, mother of 2, grandmother, and lots more.
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7 Responses to The Tough Questions

  1. Alice Jordon says:

    Ivy is a very special little girl and four is a delightful age! Maisie is full of questions about death as well but has no first hand experience with it. Only last week she asked if she would die one day. Their minds never slow down for even a moment!

  2. Debra says:

    Tough ( and sad ) questions indeed ….

  3. Susan says:

    Ivy is asking some tough questions and may she always do so.

    Big Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  4. Dottie says:


  5. Children do ask some very tough questions. As a counselor, I am always asked by parents, “How do I respond”. The great thing about children is they will let you know when your answer is enough. They either run off to play, respond with an “okay Mom”, or in some other wonderfully childlike way to say…”I have heard enough”. I urge parents to take that important cue from their child and stop explaining. They will come back for more when they are ready. Luckily it gives parents time to talk about their response and future responses. Even with all my training in grief therapy, I too have found myself reflecting on my response to my own children. Parents may not always have the right answer, but caring, compassionate discussion is what is important.
    Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

  6. Sally says:

    Such a sweet and thoughtful post. It’s reminded me of my childhood and I don’t think I was much of an asker of questions – my mother was of the “children should be seen and not heard” variety – and I think I was quiet to please her. Gosh, makes me rather sad to think of that. 😦 Thank heavens people don’t think like that anymore!
    Wishing you a lovely holiday weekend!

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