Oh, god. What am I supposed to say to that? I tell her she won't die. I tell her only the old and sick die. She is a smart girl and doesn't believe me. She doesn't think I can protect her from everything in the world, because I can't. And it hurts so fucking much.
Every night for the last 3+ years - since long before Aiden was even conceived - we have sung her four songs at bedtime that she picked herself. One of them is an old Irish song called "Cockles and Mussels". It is about a girl that dies and her ghost keeps going up and down the street, "singing cockles, and mussels, alive, alive-o". Tonight is the first time ever that she has asked why the girl in the song died. That discussion went into her fear of dying, which she has been bringing up a lot lately, and then into why baby Aiden died. I have always followed everyone's advice and told her the absolute truth. He didn't grow the way he should have and his heart had a hole in it. She worried that her heart or stomach would get holes in them. Nothing I said seemed to help ease her fears.
We went through all the heavy stuff in one conversation: where do babies come from? how do they get the baby out? what happens when we die? when will I die?
I am wrung out. I wish my 5 year old did not know that death is forever. I wish I could tell her the sick fish went back to live in the river. I feel like I'm kicking puppies telling her the harsh facts of life at this age. And I've been doing it over a year and a half. When will she stop worrying?