All death matters.

Her instinct was to reach for a hug.


Tomorrow is Zoe's 11th birthday.


Every year, about 6-weeks before her birthday, I start to practice saying her new age. I have a love-hate relationship with Zoe birthdays.


If you're a parent, you probably feel the same way.


Birthdays remind you that time is fleeting, that the things you just figured out about raising your kid are likely about to evolve once again. They remind you that the tiny baby you just brought home from the hospital now has long legs, opinions, friends and feelings.


New ages also mean that you've got a responsibility to teach your not so little one about harder things, even the harder things you might not yet understand.


Last week, we visited the #SayTheirNames exhibit at @klydewarrenpark - 240 photos of men, women and children who have died at the hands of police were memorialized.


Zoe's only context of death is her great-grandfather. She's got photos + memories of him. She went to his funeral. She visits his graveside.


Papa was the only frame of reference we had when we worked to explain what she was seeing.


After our explanation, her instinct was to offer a hug.


To her, death is sad. That's all.


I wish it were that simple for all of us.


Zoe's sensitivity is one of my favorite things about her, because she uses her feelings when she doesn't have the words. That's good, because we don't always have the words, either. She reminds us that when things are hard to understand, we at least have to try, because she's certainly gonna try, too.


If she doesn't get it from us, she's bound to get it from somewhere.


Here's to the harder things, #ZoeElisia


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