The first death conversation.

As the sun set outside the kids’ window, and they shifted in their beds after saying good night, I turned back around to make one more announcement.

“Round of applause kids, your mom and dad made it to seven years tonight!”

Koala spoke up.

“Ima. I want more kids.”

I smiled.

“More kids?”


“How many do you want?”

“Like [his friend] E. E has six. No… seven. No, eight. Cuz he has a dog. And his abba.”

“I see.”

I’d been waiting for Koala to bring up E’s dad. I walked toward the bed and sat down as he continued,

“No… His abba is מת.”

As my boy said the word – dead – chills ran through me. Koala’s blue eyes were looking directly into mine. I then asked him a similar question as one I had posed to him before, when he’d brought up soldiers fighting with swords.

“מת… What does that mean?”

“I dunno. Maybe it means so he no pick him up from Gan ever.”

“Hmm. Well, it means he isn’t here.”

“Where is he?”

“I dunno.”

He said with this beautifully innocent tone of resolve in his voice,

“Tomorrow I’ll ask E where is his abba.”

I shifted.

“You know… Maybe it’s better to not ask E unless he wants to tell you… It must be hard to not have your abba around, right?”

He looked at me. His face wasn’t sad or scared. But all of him was listening to every word I said.

“Like, imagine your abba wasn’t here. That would be hard.”

“Yeah. Ok.”

I patted my four-year-old boy and turned my head away.





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