“Mommy, why did Max die?”

This afternoon Molly (3 1/2) had me read her the book, “I’ll love you forever.” I hate reading that book and usually hide it because it causes me to feel sad. Before I read it I told her that it might make me cry because in the story the little boy grows up and the mommy gets old. Just as I thought, I couldn’t finish the book because well, I just couldn’t. Molly didn’t seem to mind and moved on to something else.
Later Molly asked me, “Mommy, why did Max die?” This is the conversation that followed, “Well, something in Max’s brain didn’t work properly. He went to sleep and something went wrong with his brain and he stopped breathing and died.”
Molly replied, “Could he go to the doctor or dentist?”
Me: “Max had gone to the doctor and the dentist but they could not fix Max’s brain so he died and his soul went to heaven where Jesus is.”
Molly: “Oh.”
Me: Daddy and I were very sad and we cried and cried because we missed Max. But we were so happy that we had you. You were a baby when Max died.”
Molly: I remember Max.
Me: You do?
Molly sadly: No, I don’t.
Molly: I’m not going to die.
Me: Well, actually you will die one day. But probably when you are very old. Then you will go to heaven and Max will be there. He will say, “Molly! I missed you! I’m so glad you’re here! Let’s play!” Everyone will die one day and we can go to heaven.
Molly: Ok, can I watch Elmo now?”
Me: Yes.