A Conversation with my 7 year old about Bowie (and cancer)

July 7, 2019

Brushing my teeth at bedtime... Ella Pants comes and stands in doorway of the bathroom. 


Hey mom, you know that guy in the cartoon ? 


What cartoon? I ask (a little confused). 


You know ,that guy in the cartoon, what’s his name? Michael Jackson?

(she points to a magazine I have on a pile of boxes in the hallway with David Bowie on front cover)


I laugh.


No that’s not Michael Jackson it’s David Bowie.


She says: well, you know what’s weird about him?


No I say.


Well, she says... everything about him is weird.


I laugh and say, well yes and isn’t it fantastic?


I then say, well he is one of my favourite artists of all times.  I even wrote a university art history dissertation on him


Are you in love with him? She asks.


I say, well he was pretty amazing.  A great artist, singer, songwriter, actor, painter etc


She asks- Did you ever meet him? 


I ask, do you mean did I get to see him live? in a concert?  


Yes, she says. 


Well, yes I did (and I tell her that story). She is enthralled and asks... what did he look like? What did he sound like? What did he smell like? What did he taste like?


I laugh. 


I say I wish I knew what he smelled and tasted like.  I explain it was a concert and we sat far away so only saw and heard him.  She asked how old I was then.  I say, in my 20s.


Mom, would you marry David Bowie?  she asks  I explain that he was all ready married and also that he is no longer alive so I can’t marry him.


How did he die?  She asks.




Oh, she says, he died of cancer?  


Yes, I say, lots of people die from cancer. 


She then adds... mom, I am

glad you didn’t die of your cancer. 


Me too, I say. Me too.






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A Conversation with my 7 year old about Bowie (and cancer)

July 7, 2019

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Edmonton. Alberta



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