When will we die?

Mama, when did baby Benjamin die?

He died July 29, so almost three months ago.

Mama, when will we die?

We don’t know sweetheart. Hopefully we will all live long, happy lives.

Long – for a 3 year old – conversation about growing old, bodies not working, different kinds of getting sick and other dying related topics ensues.


Mama, I drew a sun for Daddy! Come see! It’s died.


Mama, when will we die?

We don’t know sweetpea.

Yes we do.


Steve asks, When do you think you’ll die Ada?

Big smile, Tomorrow.

Amazingly, I didn’t fall apart during these conversations today. Or when she started to sob again because something (her knee?) hurt just before she fell asleep. I didn’t fall apart until Steve sat next to me, wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close, knowing that my deep breaths and heavy sighs meant the tears were coming.

Tomorrow I am taking myself away. I am going on a 30 hour retreat – my first non-hospital night away from Ada. I want the space and at the same time, I know it will be difficult to leave. This year has been hard on all of us and Ada’s need to have me close is both an echo of my need to be near her and a reminder that I have to take care of myself. I am no good to anyone when I’m at the end of my emotional rope. I know one day isn’t the answer, but it’s a start.

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0 Responses to When will we die?

  1. holly says:

    thinking of you.

  2. children do tell time in such . . . well, adorable and different ways. i’ll never forget my shock when asking my kindergarten-aged daughter and her friend to guess my age and , after much consideration, they said with utmost seriousness: 9.

    i’ll be holding both you and ada close the next couple of days. xo

  3. Roos says:

    Dear Alana,
    I just stumbled on your blog via Karen’s Cheerio Road and wanted to let you know that your story is heartbreaking. I’m a mother of 2 small boys, living in Amsterdam and just today realised once more how blessed I truly am with these kids. My first was born premature – scary times but he fought and we fought with him. We were the lucky parents that won the battle, I’m deeply sad to read that you didn’t.
    Wishing you courage to keep your chin up for now and to find your new path slowly. Because I’m convinced there’s a special path for you – even though we all live ‘just’ our ordinary life. To the fullest.
    Warm wishes,

  4. Jessica says:

    I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately…. I hope that your day retreat helps <3

  5. Tiffany says:

    Bless you. May you get whatever it is you need on your retreat and dont worry your daughter will be ok.

  6. Paul Brennan says:

    My three year old girl uses “yesterday” as any time in the past and “tomorrow” as any time in the future. She doen’t really see beyond now. She doesn’t want to talk about the hours she spent earlier in the day at school or with her friends. She just wants me to help her put together her train set, or play hide and seek, or read her a story. What a great way to live your life. I envy her and learn from her every day. Thanks for sharing. You are very brave.

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