My brother (5 years old) keeps asking me questions about death, life, the relationship between the two, the connection between "soul" and "body," the physics of the body, the physics of decay/death, etc... but in kid form. He also loves to touch my knees, nose and fingers because he likes to feel my bones. It's like he's reassuring me that I'm alive, or that I'm a carnal being.

He's very sure of himself and his thoughts about how the world works. He's like a tiny doctor, and it's so cute.

My brother asked me, "Allie, where is grandma's grandma?"

I looked at him and was thinking, "How the hell should I know...?" but instead said, "She's up there *points to sky*, with Jesus." I don't really believe this, but it seems like a much more pleasant thing to say to such a young soul... I don't want him to become cynical and depressed at such an early age, so what's the harm with telling him that?

But he is wwaaayy too smart for his own good, I think.

He said, "How does a body get up there? Does she have any hair? What does she look like?"

"It's not your real body, it's just your soul. Her body is probably turned into dirt."

"What's a soul?"

"A shiny, squishy thing in the very center of your heart."

"I can't feel it."

"I can't either..." I have a sad look on my face.

He starts making funny faces, imitating the faces Hogarth Hughes makes in our favorite movie ever, Iron Giant. It's really cute.

I randomly think of Walt Whitman's Song of Myself, and I say, more to myself than anyone else, "When people die, they go into the ground. They make the grass grow. There are tons of dead people all over the place, in the ground. It's like a circle of life and death, nothing more or less important than anything else."

I noticed my brother was asleep, his head resting on my shoulder.

To die is different from what any one supposed,
and luckier.

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