Conversations: Death

On our walk this morning.

Often, our morning walks find us meandering towards the local cemetery. I’ve found myself avoiding it because I didn’t want to deal with uncomfortable questions. The rituals surrounding death have always created unease in me but as time has passed and Ella persists with her questions, I’ve had to set my discomfort aside to address her curiosity.

Our destination, per Ella's request. I think she may be a bit dark and twisty. ❤❤❤

The opportunity arose one morning when Ella directed our route through the cemetery. We had a calm and basic conversation about death and traditional customs. Things were kept simple and causes of death were limited to very sick and/or very old. I found it so refreshing to listen to her thoughts. Her perspective was so uncomplicated and the entire conversation was easier than I thought it would be.

As I’m discovering, very few conversations are onetime events. She thinks and thinks and thinks about things, processing and coming to new conclusions on her own before bringing it up with me again. Almost a week passed before death appeared in our conversation again.


She sat on a bench as I finished in the grocery checkout line and stared intently at the elderly gentleman sitting next to her. Once we were out of the store, she blurted out, “Mama! Is that old man going to die soon? He’s really, REALLY old.”

I’m just glad we made it out of hearing range before we had that conversation!

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  1. It’s amazing to watch the development of big thoughts and big questions. Some of the things my kids say just stop me in my tracks. 🙂


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