He Gets It

“He” in the above title is Aidan.

And “it” is death. It amazes me how he picks up on things. And here’s the latest example from the not-yet five-year-old.

Typically, I put Erin down and Renee puts Aidan down. Renee was out tonight, so I was on double duty.

Erin goes down no problem. Aidan and I read stories, and then I start in on prayers.

We do the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be, after which we go through family and close friends with “God Bless Mimi, God Bless Papa” etc.

I just finish the line “And special prayers for Uncle Tim and Papa O” when the following exchange occurs:

“Is there room up there, Dad?”

“Room up where, buddy.”

“Up there. Where Uncle Tim and Papa O are.”

“You mean heaven, Aidan?”

“Is there room up there?”

“Yes, Aidan, but no worries. We won’t be visiting soon.”

At this point, I’m thinking I’m in the clear. Then:

“How did Uncle Tim die, Dad?”

“His heart was sick, buddy.”

“How come?”

“Well, bud, we’re not really sure why, but his heart got very sick, and as hard as the doctors tried, they weren’t able to fix it.”

“But what about Mimi O?”

“You’re right, Aidan. Mimi O’s heart was sick, but we’re very thankful the doctors could fix it.”

At this point, I’m again thinking I’m in the clear. Then:

“How did Papa O die, Dad?”

“He had Cancer, Aidan.”

“What’s that, Dad?”

“Cancer is something that gets different people sick in different parts of their bodies, and Papa O’s skin was sick. The doctors tried to help him a lot, but he was just too sick. And that’s how Papa O died.”

“Is there room up there, Daddy?”

“There sure is, buddy, and Papa O and Uncle Tim will save you a spot.”


“Yes, Aidan.”

“Good night.”

“Good night, buddy.”

6 Comments on “He Gets It”

  1. mainlyclearskies says:

    Oh my word, that is so sweet! How did you make it through that without crying?

  2. Sara says:

    You are truly an amazing father.

  3. Scott says:

    Explaining how my mother died to my boys were the hardest conversations I’ve ever had. Kudos to you for being forthright about it.

  4. Carrie says:

    It is heartbreaking to know you have to explain something like that to him. But be proud in how you’ve kept them alive for him… with every prayer.

    What a fabuous moment to have shared with your little boy! Thank you for sharing with us.

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