Brat Three – Questions about death.

When we flew home with Brat Three the first time in July 2012, she stood looking outside the window, asking an odd question and looking outside, very calm, very well mannered and very quiet. Quite unlike her real self.

Then, this June we flew to Baghdogra and I realised how much more comfortable and ‘herself’ she had become. She laughed aloud at the take-off and then had endless questions about everything she saw.   Clouds from the planeAnd then she asked,

Tejaswee kahan hai? Main itnee der se clouds mein dekh rahee hoon, mujhe to kaheen naheen dikh rahee. Maybe she is behind that cloud, in that hole.”

(Where is Tejaswee? I am looking for her in these clouds but I can’t see her anywhere.”) sky, cloudsThis June, while searching online for a school project, we found dolls’ furniture, and hoping it would keep her occupied during the long, long days of the summer vacations, we decided to try making some. Didn’t realise how much she would love this bed… or maybe what she loved was the process of the making of the doll’s bed.

She was so happy that she was worried. 2013-06-29 07.56.14 DollBed.jpg.14 “Jab aap mar jaogee to aap upar clouds mein chalee jaogee, phir aap wapas meri friend ban ke aa jaana to mein khush ho jaooungee.”

(When you die, you will go up, up in the clouds. Then you must come back as my friend, then I will become happy again.)


Another time.

“Why have you hung Tejaswee’s big pictures on the wall here?”

“Because I miss her…  she is not here with us.”

“Don’t you miss me? Put my pictures, big pictures.”

“You are here. We are all here… we can hug and hold each other…”

“When she comes back then you remove her photos and put my pictures.”

We have talked about death and attempted to talk about cells, heart (with a You Tube video) and breathing and ‘not feeling anything anymore’, about ‘going up’ and about ‘never coming back’, but how do we explain what we don’t want to or can’t understand? 

I gave her a hug. “She will never come back Brat Three.”

“Sometimes it can happen, sometimes she can come back.” (She says the same thing about the Delhi Metro, “Sometimes there can be 5 coaches in the metro.” Or, “Sometimes Sunday can come again after Monday.”)

“If she comes back, she will herself remove her photographs and put your photographs up here.”  


Related Posts:

Two conversations with Brat Three

Why this?

Learning with Brat Three.

Brat Three learns to argue, insist and convince.

Brat Three loves Sher Khan and Sher Khan loves Brat Three.

Introducing a new family member.

Who likes mangoes?

On 19th Jan 2013.


21 thoughts on “Brat Three – Questions about death.

  1. Its like the sandcastle that comes out of the sand and merges back into it. i’d like to believe that it retains the memories of the magnificent shape, I’d like to believe that it bides its time till it comes back to life again. I’d like to believe that we are surrounded by elements of of people of who loved us. I have never been able to justify the existence of a universal God but there are times I feel I am being watched over by someone. This is the way I think of it.


  2. I don’t know what to say … you are very brave. Such deaths destroy people and you have made it a path for growth. Lots of love to Brat 3, in her own innocent way she is cleaning up the wound life has dealt you


  3. My lil nephews talk to me a lot…. And so many questions about death. Especially something like ‘Will my mother die?’ in fearful tone. Once in the middle of the night when his parents were not here – ‘what if I die in sleep’. How do you even answer such questions? And why do they need to know? I wish kids wd jus worry about some cartoon character instead of deep stuffs…


  4. You just reminded me of something that happened about 12 years back. My cousin lost her elder son who was 11 years old at that time. He had been suffering from Leukemia. Her younger son was 6 years old at that time. The sad news was disclosed to the younger one while saying that Bhaiya (elder brother) had become a star and would never come back again.

    I brought her younger one to my place just before cremation as my son is exactly the age of her younger son. We thought that it would help him to be at peace. The whole day the two kids (my son and her son) were playing together and when we happened to go to the terrace at dusk, he looked up at the two stars in the sky and said, “Maasi woh jo bada waala star hai woh bhaiya hai na? (Aunt, the bigger star is my elder brother. Isn’t he?)” I said, “Haan, woh aap ko dekh raha hai. (Yes, he is looking at you.) ” And his next question was, “Woh jo ek aur star hai, woh bhi apne chote bhaai ko kahin par dekh raha hai na? (Is that other star also looking at his younger brother somewhere?)” and once again I said, “Yes” while gulping down tears.


  5. Lots of hugs IHM. Brat 3’s innocence is so refreshing. Hope she retains it as she grows up and faces life. I’m sure Tejaswee is watching over you and Brat 3 from wherever she is. I recently lost my nana, and can’t help but think that way about him.


  6. Children remind us just how difficult some things are to comprehend. I hope that in speaking to Brat 3, you find a way to more peace as well. ((hugs))


  7. They may not come back…but have they ever truly left? Will they ever leave? Those pictures on the wall, the memories we have of the people that we knew. The things they left behind. They live on. You feel them sometimes, a familiarity like a gust of wind when you do something and you remember that they were the ones who taught you that. They live on in the things we do and how we lead our lives.


  8. There’s something about death that fascinates kids.. mine too. However they’re quite cool about it perhaps because they do not understand its finality. I think it’s fine this way. Let brat three find out in her own time. I can only imagine how hard it would be on you, though.


  9. That’s quite a conversation to have, IHM. I love Brat Three’s request for big pictures 😀
    More glad to read of how she’s more of herself now.

    I would love making a doll’s bed even today!



  10. Pingback: This is what makes Brat Three happy :) | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  11. Pingback: Brat Three has a mind of her own :) | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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