October 1, 1999 (Ira Pilgrim)

A Conversation with My Inner Child

Everything in our past and every age that we have ever been is inscribed in our brain. It behooves us to deal gently with the little child within us all. As Eric Berne has pointed out, that little child is the wellspring of all of our joys and sorrows.

Me: Why are you crying, little one?

Child:I'm scared!

Me: What are you afraid of?

Child: I'm afraid because I think that I'm going to die.

Me: Yes, you are going to die, just like every living thing on earth. Dying is nothing to be afraid of.

Child: That's easy for you to say. You're an old man, but I'm just a little kid.

Me: You and I are the same person, and when I die, so do you.

Child: How long do we have?

Me: I don't know; maybe five years, maybe ten, maybe more.

Child: Aren't you afraid to die?

Me: I don't want to die, but I know that it won't hurt so I'm not afraid. If I thought that it would hurt, I would probably be afraid, but I know that it won't. In fact, if I were in pain, death would take it away.

Child: How do you know that it won't hurt?

Me: I've seen people die and when it happens they don't seem to be in pain. Besides, when your brain stops functioning, you can't feel pain. You can't feel anything.

Child: What does it feel like to not feel anything?

Me: Do you remember when we had surgery and they gave us an anesthetic? There was nothing until we woke up. That's what it feels like; it feels like nothing.

Child: How will we know that it feels like nothing if we don't wake up?

Me: We won't know. Let's talk about something else. How did you like that wonderful pear that we had at dinner last night?

Child: It was delicious. I don't think that I've ever tasted such a delicious pear.

Me: Are you enjoying the music that's coming out of the radio?

Child: It's beautiful.

Me: How about that bit of loving last night?

Child: It was good, but I've had better. Do you remember that time we had with ___ in the Dodge Dart?

Me: Ah yes; those were the days.

Child: I'm sleepy.

Me: Well, good night little one. Sleep well.

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