Sunday 8 May 2011

A lesson on birth and death...

The morning of the BBQ daddy-ebi called for Ebi-kun and I to go out to the back of the house, he had been throwing the rubbish and spotted this wild cat in next doors garden, she had 3 tiny, brand new kittens.
They were still a bit of wet and their eyes were closed so they must have only just been born.
We tried not to get too close so that we didn't upset mommy cat, the neighbour came over and we told her what we had found, she wasn't happy because she found a dead cat in her garden not long ago but who can't see new born kittens and not go ahhhhh (yes, even my mom who hates cats will gooo over a new born kitten!). So we checked on them a couple of time through the day then in the evening mommy cat decided to move them, we don't know where she went but she took the biggest two kittens first. It had gone dark so we popped out every now and then to see if she had come back for the little runt of the litter but sadly it was too late, the little one had died. We told Ebi-kun the next morning, in a very matter of fact manner, I grew up in the country and that is how I learnt about the life cycle, he asked some questions and we talked about the strongest animals often survive where the weaker ones will die and how that is part of natures way. 
I think situations like this are a good time to bring up subjects that are difficult to discuss, makes it more natural than sitting down and having a formal discussion, I also thing that is one of the good reasons why children should have pets, a death of a loved pet can help prepare them for a death of a family member. Have you talked to your kids about death?


  1. My boys haven't had a pet or person die on them yet, but we did dog sit often for our old neighbours and their dog died. My oldest son was very fond of the dog and we tried to explain her death to him. He only understood in the simplest sense, but nearly a year later, he still brings up the dog's death and asks questions. I despise death and grieving (and don't handle them well), so these are tough lessons for me to try to teach my own kids.

  2. Living in the country we are surrounded by the cycle of life- farmers hang dead crows in their fields to deter other birds, foxes get the chickens, hunters get the wild boars, something got the kinder's pet rabbit etc etc. I was shocked when the kinder rabbit was got and my three year old came home saying it was sad but whatever took it ate it and it must have been hungry and that's life. I was expecting a bit more euphimism for the under 5 crowd! That said the girls handled their great grandmothers funeral very well and can talk about death without getting silly or morbid... I hope the other two kittens turn up again so you can show Ebi-kun how big they are getting!

  3. Oh yes, we have talked about death and birth in fact. We are the type of parents who will give truthful answers to the girls when they ask questions but we just make sure we understand the question they are asking and only answer the question - no waffle and going off at tangents! Death is an interesting one in this house as my husband is a Christian and I am an Atheist. The girls understand though that Daddy thinks we go to heaven when we die and Mummy doesn't - it actually helps them realise that everyone has different views and not to ridicule them or think that their own views are superior.

    Phew - that was an essay and a half!

  4. I agree, talking about it in a matter of fact way and not waiting for a 'big death' to have to brooch the subject is important too. My upbringing was very much like your girls Heather and although my parents are Catholic I never believed in all that heaven and angles stuff. We explain to Ebi-kun that everyone has their own belief and some belief X whilst others believe Y.


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