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Old 09-13-2017, 04:23 PM
11,686 posts, read 13,083,410 times
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I think of a pet cat who got hit by a car when I was six or so. My father had picked him up and wrapped him in an old piece of cloth and told my mother before he had to go to work. My mother told me, and she let me look at Blackie and I really saw what dead was. Then we had a ceremony with my best friend and my mother and buried him in the back yard with a cross over him that my father had quickly nailed together.

My maternal grandfather had already died when I was maybe four or even just five, but he was just gone that was all. It had meant nothing and I hardly had started any relationship with him. So, it was just a blank spot that quickly disappeared for me.

My two grandmother died when I was in my twenties and living away from our home area. My mother's stepmother's body was sent to Canada to be buried there in any case; and my mother, who saw deaths and funerals as annoying, inconvenient events, did not tell me anything about my father's mother's funeral until it was over.

My first human death as shocking as that of my pet cat as a child, was the death of my father. I was twenty-eight and was with him when he died. He was 55. He had been emotionally very distant and never affectionate in word or deed, and his death was a hideous exclamation point to our relationship.
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:48 PM
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My first/biological mother who died approx. a month before my 6th birthday. I was already living at the time with my stepmom (who raised me) and my father.
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:45 PM
2,953 posts, read 1,391,095 times
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I didn't know him personally but he was the first.

John F Kennedy

My parents were so upset. I didn't know what death was. I remember my dad telling me it meant Caroline (who was a little older than me) didn't have a daddy any more.
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:37 PM
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,712 posts, read 21,770,674 times
Reputation: 27763
Originally Posted by PJSinger View Post
When I was about 13, a good friend of my parents died unexpectedly, as the result of a heart attack. Over the next few years, a few of my friends' older siblings were killed in the Vietnam War.

Unfortunately, my parents were overprotective when it came to such things, and they did not allow me to attend wakes or funerals. They were very hush-hush about it when their friend died. The first dead person I ever saw was my mother, who died after a 4-day illness when I was 17. To this day, I wish my parents hadn't sheltered me from such things when I was growing up. I think it's important for children to learn early on that death is a natural part of our journey, it's okay to mourn, and dealing with it gives us closure.

You're right. I got to see a lot of dead people when I was young. I had several great aunts and various other family members who died when I was a kid. My parents took me about half of the time when they didn't have anyone to watch me. Interestingly, a few places had coloring books, crayons and some toys. Someone understood.
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Old 05-23-2018, 01:18 PM
2,187 posts, read 1,204,348 times
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It was early to mid 70's
I was in second grade

My friend carl hadn't been around lately...
we were on my porch beginning of summer break playing star wars and he came over...said he hadn't been around lately because his younger sister had died of leukemia...had no idea what that was but I never forgot that, or the look on his face

years later twin girls in my brothers class, one died of leukemia

years later my dad was diagnosed with it, and less than one year later although cancer free he died...body shut down from the chemo he was 70
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:30 PM
Location: Eastern Washington
13,392 posts, read 42,724,996 times
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My paternal grandfather, who died at about age 73, back around 1963, when I was just a kid. I knew him but of course only as well as a young kid can.

I do recall that when I was that young, I knew I had a "Ma" and a "Pa", and a "Grandma" and "Grandpa" - but I didn't make the connection that these were my Pa's parents, so where were my Ma's parents? Not so much stupid, as just not very curious. When I was so young, everyone in my world was pretty much the same as they were when I first became aware of them. The birth to death life cycle didn't register.

Was too busy watching Space Ghost and Johnny Quest, to wonder about where I came from.
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Old 05-23-2018, 04:37 PM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 10 days ago)
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,245 posts, read 50,519,955 times
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My second cousin. We were the same age and played together. I remember her birthday was also in August, but mine was first and we had my birthday party and then a couple of weeks later we would have Kathy's birthday party. She died of leukemia the February after we turned six. I knew she was sick and that I had to say prayers for her at bedtime, but it never occurred to me that she could die.
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Old 05-23-2018, 06:03 PM
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,244 posts, read 9,100,976 times
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One of my uncles died at age 40 of a heart attack when I was nine. When I was 11 my little sister was hit by a car and died. She was three. My first experiences with death. My little sisters death devastated me and, to this day, I remember how the adults just ignored us kids. I guess they thought it didn't bother us or something. After that, of course, came the grandparents on both sides but years apart and then all the aunts and uncles and my parents. My birth mom died at age 44 just before my 25th b'day. I've lost two siblings in the last few years as well. My family is shrinking in some ways but the grandkids and great grandkids keep coming for the whole family.
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Old 05-23-2018, 06:08 PM
Location: Erie, PA
2,276 posts, read 926,851 times
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My aunt Nonna when I was age 4. I remember my mom and I had gone over to her house and my mom getting really upset seeing Nonna lying there on the floor. I recall the ambulance, fire truck and even the paramedic who gave me a lollipop I guess to try and take my mind off what was going on. I recall my dad coming to pick us both up and then going to the wake/funeral a couple of days later.
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:16 AM
Location: SWFL
21,438 posts, read 18,150,188 times
Reputation: 18819
My paternal grandmother when I was 3. Then my dad's uncle who lived two houses up the street a couple of months later. My mother was also over protective and would not take me to wakes or funerals. Not even her own father's whom I loved very much. The first wake and funeral I went to was at 15 when 4 friends died in one car crash when we were in high school. My Dad came to school and drove a bunch of us kids. 4 days in a row.

Since then I have been to many, the last, my husband's, but now I don't go to any because everyone is up north.
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