Lyle has been thinking about death a lot for, oh, the past year or so. It’s the age. We went through it with Baxter and here we are again. (I can still see 4-year old Baxter getting right in newborn Lyle’s face and sweetly cooing, “I love you Baby Lyle, and I will always love you…UNTIL YOU DIE, BABY LYLE…” I’m not sure I’ve recovered from that one.)
Of course, the reality of death is heightened for him these days; he attended his first funeral when my grandfather passed away a few weeks ago.
Tonight as I cuddled with him in his bed before saying good-night, he leaned over and said, “I love you, Mommy,” to which I replied, “I love you, too, Sweetie.”
A moment later he said, very seriously, “You know, when we die we won’t be able to hear each other say I love you anymore.” [Insert stifled sob here.] I told him that while that was technically true, we’d always be in each other’s hearts and that we’d remember each other’s voices and still be able to hear the words in our heads anytime we wanted.
He thought about this. “Yeah, I can hear your voice right now.”
Then, with excitement, “Like — I can hear your voice in my head sayin’ to Daddy, ‘Get me a tall skinny hazelnut latte at Starbucks’!“