Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Another Funeral Experience

You might wonder why a 7 year-old would start talking about people dying, but since Jie Jie has been home, two cats have died here, one was my own cat and, recently, I fostered a 22 year-old cat, who was horrifically neglected, for 6 days until he passed away peacefully on his bed. We called him Mr. Handsome and he was anything but. In his day, however, he must have been a splendidly handsome fellow.

So, tonight as I was putting Jie Jie to bed, we began talking about her life in China and death came up again in a very natural and comfortable manner. I asked her if any babies had died. She thought for a moment and said that her Po Po had one baby that died. Here's her experience:

JJ: Baby die. Baby face messy. (She indicated the entire face) Baby no hungry. Baby no eat. Lot people cry. Jie Jie cry, too. Baby die.

Me: Did the baby drink a bottle?

JJ: Baby no drink. Baby no hungry long time. Eat, baby! Eat, baby! (She said this in a gentle, coaxing voice like one would use to try and get a baby to eat.) Baby no eat.

Me: Was there food on the baby's face?

JJ: No, baby no eat. Baby face messy pink.

I then asked if the baby died at night or in the daytime. She indicated at night, while she was asleep and that when she woke up in the morning the baby was gone. I asked her what Po Po did with the baby and she said, "Baby outside."

Me: Was the baby asleep?

JJ: No, mouth open. (She then did an imitation of the baby's facial expression and it was clearly death.)

Me: Did the baby have a blanket?

JJ: Yes. (She then showed me that the blanket was pulled up over the baby's face and head.) Baby bye-bye. No wait car. Car kuai kuai. (Kuai Kuai means fast.)

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