I’m convinced I wasn’t a normal child. I’ve been watching my students at recess for six months now. I didn’t really do any of the things they do. Then again, I certainly didn’t have a normal childhood.
One of the “games” I played constantly was having a funeral. And I’m not talking about a funeral for someone else. I’m talking about my funeral. I don’t see how people used to argue that young children could not be suicidal. They argued that young children can’t understand the finality of death. I certainly did.
This “game” of mine started when I was five or so. At least those are the earliest memories I have of it. I can place the time because of the surroundings I can see in my mind’s eye. The green carpet. The little desk and bench in my room. The net full of stuffed animals hanging from the ceiling.
I would put my doll, “W”, on the bench that went with my desk and place it in the middle of the room. I would line up all my stuffed animals and they would mourn. But they weren’t mourning “W”. “W” was actually me. I was pretending that I was having my own funeral.
I don’t remember how long I played this game. But it was quite a while. Nobody ever saw me. They left me alone to amuse myself.
For some reason this bothers me a lot. I don’t know why. It’s such a poignant reminder of how sad I was as a child.