‘TERMINAL CONVERSATION’ sounds fearsome. Surprisingly, it’s not a thriller in the making, and no, I haven’t caught a killer illness—as far as I know.
Still, chats between grandpas and grandkids happen constantly. Like the time the darts hit the TV and a thoughtful moment.
Out of the mouths … (of babes and sucklings)
MY TERMINAL CONVERSATION happened in a chat between me and one of my granddaughters. As you’ll know, there aren’t many boundaries in chats with a four-year-old. As ever, we rambled away about almost anything and, somehow, stumbled into the topic of death and dying.
WE DIDN’T START-OFF talking about that greatest of mysteries. In fact, we were nowhere near that topic. We watched the “birdies” after we’d topped up the feeders in our garden.
HOWEVER, AS IN all such matters, a lively young mind chases a profound idea or two.
‘If we didn’t feed the birdies, they’d die.’
‘Maybe, at least when we feed them they’re not so hungry.’
‘But they might die?’
‘Yes, they might.’
‘Grandpa, why do people die?’ She’s sat on my knee snuggled in. Where did that come from?
‘We all die one day, it’s how things are,’ she nods.
‘Will I die?’
‘Well … yes … I think so, but that’s a long way off.’ I have to say, she doesn’t look concerned. ‘I’ll die long before you.’
‘You love me, don’t you?’ She lifts her little head and gazes up into my eyes. Talk about windows of the soul.
‘You know I do.’
‘When you’re dead, will you still love me.’ Wow, that’s a huge philosophical ask. I give her a wee squeeze, connect once more with her large, luminous eyes as they search mine for an answer. I share a gentle smile of reassurance. ‘Of course I will.’
‘Will you tell me a story about a princess?’ … Ahh, the magical sign of an accepted answer. On the other hand, a thoughtful feeling stirs … such trust.
© Mac Logan