12 Moments of 2011 #3: A Child’s Fear of Death

This post is part of the 12 Days series.

Episode 3 of Usagi Drop sees Rin wetting her bed and (vainly) trying to hide it. When Daikichi finds out, Rin asks him some hard questions.

“What’s it like to die? Are you going to die before me?”

Daikichi realizes that it’s this fear of death that keeps Rin from sleeping soundly. Since she’s young, it’s impossible for her to resolve such thoughts on her own. Instead of giving a straight answer, he dodges the question with a bold claim–that he won’t die until Rin reaches a mature age. He puts Rin at ease by assuring her that there’s nothing shameful about wetting one’s bed. And it’s enough to calm Rin down.

The scene made me realize how hard it is to be a parent. You tell your child all these white lies, because the stark truth will be too much to handle. Daikichi is betting his all on a long life, wanting Rin (and himself, too) to believe that he’ll be there as long as the girl needs him.

It’s a thought-provoking scene for me, because I keep on thinking about death. Not in a morbid way, but I always find myself contemplating the hows and whys and most importantly, the “what’s next?” I appreciated Daikichi’s answer, even if it’s a bit simplified to be child-friendly. After all, there’s nothing Rin could gain by contemplating such a topic at her innocent age.

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