"What do you die in?"
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know what it is, that thing what you die in."
(Larry:) "You mean a coffin?"
"Yes! A coffin."
"Well, you don’t really—"
"Ava Grace went to Andrew Jackson's house, and he died in a coffin."
"A very long time ago."
Dear Ava Grace,
Such a pretty name for such a pretty little girl! It sounds like you and your family enjoyed a nice visit to The Hermitage last weekend. How very educational!
On behalf of my husband and myself, I just wanted to thank you for kicking things up a notch in Mrs. Barbara’s Pre-K. We, too, had always found the curriculum to be somewhat lightweight. Gus used to come home, prattling on about “playground this” and “chicken patties that”, and every day we’d ask ourselves, “When are they going to start teaching these kids about coffins. And death.”
So thank you for taking matters into your own hands.
I had actually been saving the “coffin talk” for this summer, when Gus will be four. But now, seeing his somber and contemplative little face, I wonder what in the world I was waiting for.
I should mention, just as an educational note, that Andrew Jackson did not actually die in a coffin. He died of tuberculosis and edema. Probably in a bed or a nice wicker rocker. Perhaps you are confusing him with Sandra Bullock’s character in The Vanishing, a 1993 remake of a French film, which starred Kiefer Sutherland. She died in a coffin.
That movie scared the shit out of me, Ava Grace. Can you imagine, being buried alive, six feet underground, knowing the man you love is frantically searching for you? Knowing he will never get to you in time? Feeling the air in that scary, scary, coffin grow thinner and thinner until you start to see black and, then, finally succumb to hopeless and eternal darkness?
I’m sure you think about that sort of thing all the time. A bright and clever little girl such as yourself!
Just yesterday, I told Gus that if he and his brother ever put me in a coffin, it would be over my dead body. Ha ha!
Anyway, thanks for the learning—and the laughs!