Following the lobster incident on holiday, it didn't taken Pickle long to realise that I hadn't quite answered the question about where people go when they die. Over cornflakes, he wanted to know where Monkey had gone and wasn't satisfied with 'he's just gone'. 'Gone where? he challenged. So, I thought, now's as good a time as any. And we had an early morning lesson in burials and cremations.
I explained that when people die, they stop breathing and their heart stops beating and although they might still be there and we can see them, they're not really there anymore and they can't see, hear or feel anything at all. And that we're not allowed to keep them with us forever.
I explained that some people are buried in a coffin and that some people are cremated which means they are turned to ashes. Pickle says 'but ashes come from fire'. That's right they do, so some people are burned in a special fire and turned into ashes. And that's what happened to Monkey and then we buried his ashes in the churchyard. His wobbly bottom lip does just that. And I remind him that it's ok, that Monkey couldn't feel anything. And then Pickle smiles which quickly turns to giggles and wants me to tell him about all the people I know who have been turned into ashes.
Pickle will be four soon and he's having a bonfire birthday party. With some glee, he asks 'When my friends come to my party, if they get too close to the bonfire then they will be burned and turned into ashes?' (Is that why we've not had many accepts?)
Not many minutes later, it's time for me to head off to work. Pickle is fine (me too) and I just wonder what he'll tell them at nursery. Perhaps I'll give them a call...