When was the first time you learned about death? As a young child how or when. I don't clearly remember but I did learn it at a pretty young age. It wasn't because of a death of a family member nor because of a lesson from my parents. My parents never taught me that subject. They only referenced it. I guess I learned the basics somehow and added on my understanding as I grew.
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I don't think I learned about it on a single day. It was more of a long process. I probably knew about it very early, at age 4 or so... but it took a long time to actually grasp the concept completely (some scientists say that only around age 15-16 are we mentally and emotionally capable of fully understanding what death is). One of my earliest memories is that my grandma who I loved very much used to tell me and my siblings a lot about my grandpa who had died when I was 3. I don't remember him except from the photos and I don't remember his death either but I do remember my grandma talking a lot about him and sometimes crying a bit. They had been a very happy couple and he died quite early (he was only 62 or so). Another memory I actually just remembered today afternoon is from when I was 7 or 8. My grandma used to live in a different town but every few months, my little sister and me travelled to her by train to spend a few days with her. During our stay there, my grandma sometimes went on the nearby cemetery with us, where her husband had been buried. We would lay down some flowers and my grandma would tell us more stories. For us it wasn't really an emotional thing because we hadn't really known him. But it was still interesting to hear stories about him. But then sometimes my grandma said to us "Please leave me for two or three minutes, so I can talk to grandpa on my own". My grandma was mildly religious (which was quite normal for her generation in my country) but my parents are both atheists, so my siblings and me grew up non-religiously and I sometimes asked myself why my grandma would want to talk to a gravestone and a couple of flowers. Anyway... because we were bored, my sister and me would stroll around on the cemetery. Sooner or later, we usually ended up in the part of the cemetery where all the children had been buried. Nowadays when I think about this, it's actually sort of creepy but my sister and me would stand in front of the graves of those children and imagine why and how they had died. Dead adults and grandpas didn't really touch me but being 8 years old and standing in front of the grave of an 8 year old child was quite strange and emotionally confusing. It was both fascinating (I was a very inquisitive child) and scary/sad. Looking back, I think this was the first time I really deeply thought about death and what it means to be dead.1