Your Grandad died, daddy

He’s very worried about death. And i don’t know how to help him.
We were talking about middle names. And i said that mine was also my granddad’s name. He asked ‘who is your granddad?’ I didn’t think about it, i just said that he had died a long long time ago.
Next day, he said he wanted to meet my brother. ‘The one that died, daddy’. After some tears, we worked out what he meant. So i tried to explain, not knowing how on earth this was playing inside his head.
He’s been worrying about it: a few times he’s just said out of the blue ‘your granddad died, daddy’
His reaction is right, death is horribly, overwhelming and deeply sad. Inevitable and crushing for those left – but how can i explain that he has absolutely no choice over it, and that he will have to choose either to be crushed by it or to live the day anyway? That those he loves will at some point be there no more.
Driving back from Pat and Anja’s this afternoon, he was crying that he missed them and wanted to go back. All partings are now tinged with this unnameable incomprehensible fear. I feel appalling that i haven’t protected him from it, delayed its discovery, saved him from the terrible world.
I cannot bear he will one day be as sad as i know, and fear, i will be when my parents die. I don’t know how that can be lived through – so how can I help him? I’m completely at a loss to help, but i know i caused this as well. He could have waited to feel this fear – he’s going to have it buried that little bit deeper now.


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