It's too late to think about death 2021-09-23 on Kenneth Dodrill's blog

In a regular-sized town lived a nuclear family of four. There were the parents - Jillian and John, and the children - Simon and Hazel. They were fairly happy and fairly normal. They would go out for dinner on Saturday, and would go to church early on Sunday.

One night, Jillian was feeling quite sick and was bedridden for about a week. Hazel, bringing her some food and drink, saw her mother in her awful condition and asked "Mommy, what happens when you die?". Jillian looked at her daughter with confused (and slightly hurt) eyes. How could she not know this? Shaking away her expression, Jillian hoarsely squeaked out a gentle reply: "We go to meet God and live with him forever." Hazel's face lit up and she happily skipped out of the room.

A couple of years later, another family member arrived. Simon had always wanted a hamster, and his parents were tired of saying no, so they finally got him one! As soon as they got home, Simon picked up the hamster and showed it everything in the house - the porch, the dinner table, the TV, his room, his bed, the back porch...everything. After a few days, Simon started to notice that the hamster didn't move around much, and wouldn't eat. He told his parents about this and they brought the little hamster to a veterinarian. The vet told them that the hamster had a particular type of cancer that would eventually eat away at his brain. He also wasn't eating because that's typical of hamsters when they are in pain. In a gentle (but still somehow gruff) voice, John told Simon that they would have to put him down. "But where will he go? He's still alive, so where will he be?", said Simon, eyes red from crying. "We can bury him in the backyard and you can talk about how much fun you had with him. He'll still be with because you'll remember him.", his mother replied. Simon wiped the tears from his eyes.

Many years later, both children are now adults and have moved out. The parents may wonder about past dreams unfulfilled or perhaps reminisce in years past, but they mostly sit and do what they have always done. Wake up, work, cook dinner, watch TV, go to bed, repeat. Soon, John's mother dies, perhaps a little too early. John is distraught upon realizing that he has no other living family except for his little nuclear one. He takes comfort in Jillian, but seeks help from nobody else. One night, John thinks about death. He thinks about death so much that he can imagine his own, how his world will suddenly end...and then what? "Jill, what happens when we die?", he asks his tired wife. "I don't know. Go to sleep.", she says. And he tries.