It seems like most people first encounter death when a childhood pet dies. Maybe this is untrue, but I feel like I hear that story more than most. As a child, I never had a pet for more than a few months at a time (generally) so that wasn’t the case for me.
Preschool. It’s a memory that is no doubt faded, warped, and skewed. The perspective of a six year old child is not reliable even to the very same person years later. In this blurred time of my life, I recall my teacher being Mrs. Marshall. All I remember is that she had gray hair. She was probably nice. Who knows, though.
One day we had a substitute teacher. The only thing I remember is the teacher telling us that Mrs. Marshall was very sick in the hospital.
My next memory is a funeral.
I don’t remember very much about it. The entire memory to me is simply one still frame of my teacher in a coffin and hearing myself ask why they had changed her hair from gray to brown.
It doesn’t seem like this encounter affected me much. I suppose it must have in some way. It’s one of only a handful of memories that my mind retained from preschool. I wonder if I would be any different if that had not happened…