Monday, September 11, 2006

Mommy ... how do people die?

For some reason, Ace had Queen recite the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep prayer last night. She didn't like it.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
I Pray the Lord My Soul to Keep
If I Die Before I Wake
I Pray the Lord My Soul to Take

Ok. Seriously. What parent would make their child say this?

Well, mine. And Ace's. This prayer was said by me every single night when my head hit the pillow. I didn't think a thing about the words I was reciting, because, well, I think it was the instilled Lutheran ways. We recited creeds and prayers like they were written on the back of our hands. The Apostle's Creed. Knew it by heart. The Nicene Creed. Could say that in my sleep. So I think that was the main reason why that prayer never bothered me.

But tonight ... after Ace said it to the Queen last night ... it is still fresh in her memory. And with today being the day that it is, and my conversation with my sister tonight about how her dog of many, many years passed away during the night, it is weighing heavily on her mind.

She came out about 10 minutes ago, and asked if she was going to die in her sleep.

WHAT do you say to that? I don't know if I said anything right. I told her that there are no promises that I could give her about death, because that is nothing within our control.

Then she asked me how people died.

A scary concept, I know. Shoot, it scares me, and it is hard to be all "death is a natural thing" when we know nothing about it.

It is an extinguishment of the person, and that is what Queen sees.

Sometimes being a parent is hard.


Blogger Pass The Torch said...

Oh boy - the questions, huh? It's hard enough to answer the questions we know the answers to, let alone the ones we don't.

Thanks for sharing this story.

Home of Pass the Torch Tuesday

9:37 PM  
Blogger Bellezza said...

My mother's version, (from a Dutch father who pastored in the Canadian prairies):

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray Thee Lord my soul to keep
And if I in Thy presence wake
I pray Thee Lord my soul to take.

A bit more comforting, I think, because I had the same disquiet as your child.

9:38 PM  
Anonymous alice said...

I know! I'm Lutheran too, so I understand about "the Creed's" and all. Grew up reciting them in my head. I never really thought about "Now I lay me.." until I had kids too. It is kinda a weird poem. my kids have asked about death and I just say, "people die in all different ways" and try and change the subject. I'm terrible, i know.. LOL

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh, I hate the hard questions. And that is a doozy.

Hopefully you were able to come up with something that sufficiently allowed her some peace, and some sleep.

But I'm laughing about the opening bits about the Lutheran's and reciting. BTDT.

10:40 PM  
Blogger lm1 said...

well i learned it from my papa (gradfather) he was catholic (spelling?) but sorry to say i was actually comfroted by those words... my father was rather abusive so it was a comfort to know where i would go if i didn't wake up. and i was 5-7 yrs.
but my own kids have never herd of it... we have a different one...
(good night *childs name* sleep tight *NAME* Jesus keeps your dreams the God above is a God of love and he watches over you.
it is a song.. they both love it and it seems to calm them down to sleep good.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

third and last line..
Angels watch me through the night
And wake me with the morning light..
a little less scary I'd say!
Wierd little prayer I think!
Abby makes me say god bless to everyone AND everyone's houses!
Now WHERE did that come from?!

5:29 PM  
Blogger Bellezza said...

robin, I like your third line 'revision' as well. We don't want to think scary thoughts, especially when we pray!

9:49 PM  
Blogger lm1 said...

ah.... yes the last line... no wonder it wasn't that scary to me... i remember that the Angels
watch ... thanks.

8:41 PM  

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The Lovely She, that is me!

I'm a mom of three peeps ... Queen Bee, The Door Man, and the Chandelier Monkey, and wife to Ace, the Helpful Hardware Man. I created this space to get away from the people known as my inlaws, and because life with three kids and a hubby is all Unexplored Territory.

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