Wednesday, October 19, 2011


My boys enjoy playing their Wii with games created by Lego like Batman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, and, most recently, Pirates of the Caribbean. The game play is challenging and fun and leaves their father and me comfortable and relaxed about its content. When I hear the boys getting too intense and get excited about “killing” a character I merely clear my throat and the word “killing” is replaced by “disassembled”. In the world of Lego, a character truly isn’t dead or destroyed; he or she is merely “disassembled” to

be put back together for another turn. It’s not that my boys don’t understand death, they certainly do. I just want them to know the difference between fantasy play they engage in with virtual Legos and real life. Unfortunately, in their young ages, they have had to deal with death on a personal level and are understanding that, as sad as it is, death is a part of the cycle of life.

Not too long ago my five-year-old son was in the car with me and his sister and was talking about disassembling Legos on his Wii game. A pregnant pause on his part ended with the following question: “Mom, Great-Grandma was disassembled, wasn’t she?” The question may seem strange to those who don’t know, but to a five year old trying to grasp the truths of the world, I played along knowing full well he meant dead.

“Yes,” I replied. “Why?”

“I miss her. I wish we could see her again,” he said thoughtfully.

“I miss her, too, Honey. Although we can’t talk to her again, we can see her. We can watch home movies to see her and hear her talking. And we can always talk about her. Remember how she used to play with you all of the different games and read to you, too?”

I’m not sure he did remember those specific activities as he was only three when she passed, but he wanted to remember and he clearly remembers her. This information quelled his questions and he moved on to other business. Great-Grandma was 90 when she passed.

Over the weekend racecar driver Dan Wheldon, 33, died as a result of a horrific accident. He,

too, was permanently disassembled. More questions arose from many around the globe as to why this could happen. Experts are in the process of issuing blame, critics are explaining the reason IRL is responsible, and other theories are being rattled off, but, I know why Dan Wheldon died.

Death happens. Whether you are a racecar driver who drives over 220 MPH or a mailman, a skydiver or a teacher, a playboy or a husband and father, death happens. People have no known date of expiration. We live and try to preserve ourselves for a ripe old age, and many get there and die of “natural causes”, but others get taken earlier. They are disassembled in the prime of their life. Death is a distinct, vital, and unavoidable part of life.

I am still very saddened for Dan Wheldon’s family; a widow and two baby boys who do not have their father. I ache for Great-Grandpa who valiantly lives out his days without his beloved by

his side. I bleed inwardly for the soldiers who fight for our great country who do not return home to the loving arms of their parents, spouses, friends, and loved ones. But, instead of becoming morose and incapacitated by grief, I turn the tides.

I choose to love those around me fully. Before those around me become disassembled I will tell them how much they are loved and appreciated daily. I will not live in fear but love completely. Because you see, I never know when my time or those around me will come up. Whenever it is my time for disassembly I want to have no regrets. And, when those around me succumb to disassembly I want to know that I loved the best I could every moment I could.

Life is too short and disassembly can happen without warning. I thought we, as a nation, learned this great lesson after September 11, 2001, but it hasn’t stuck completely. So, today’s topic of disassembly is a gentle reminder to love well and often so when you or someone you know gets disassembled, you have no regrets.

It is always my wish for you to feel freely to comment on my work and/or offer a differing opinion.


  1. Good morning;

    This is such a powerful piece you have written that speaks volumes. Love your thought process. Keep writing and living like this!


  2. A very moving piece, Candice.

    Placing blame will not bring Dan back to his family, friends and fans. But perhaps finding the cause will prevent others from dying.

    I sometimes worry about young people and the cavalier attitude so many have taken toward death because it's so easy to simply press RESET.

  3. Whoa!!!!!!! (Riding to work with Tupac's "Dear Momma" playing on the radio) *Tears* I have been EXTREMELY EMOTIONAL lately!! This was Beautiful #Disasembled
    Thank You....
    To end on a lighter note, we are going to the NEW Legoland this weekend!!! 
    @FitInMyHeart (Dr. Mo)

  4. I'm bawling but smiling. Truly, this is a beautiful piece. I'm actually having conversations with mine about death lately. I wish I'd had as beautifully creative way to explain it to her as you've offered yours. These conversations are difficult, but a necessity.

  5. Absolutely love love love it! Very well done! I look forward to your reads every week Candice!

  6. Profound. Funny, I was just lamenting the passing of my Great Uncle Harry, "The Great Man" we used to call him, who passed away at 93 almost 15 years ago now. Taught me about life, being a gentleman, how to live life to its fullest. Now that I'm no longer getting shot at or have people trying to blow me up, I can truly say I savor ever day, and then every moment with those I love and care about most. Uncle Harry appreciated this as a veteran of WW I, and it is instructive to be reminded by the little things we take for granted each day. In my house we call the disassembly "broken."

  7. Death is perhaps the only example where as the means must justify the end.

  8. Great Blog. This subject is hard to explain to a child, especially when you are dealing with your own feelings of losing a loved one. There is one point you made that I do disagree with. You said that you can't talk to the 'Loved One' that has passed. I believe the people who have "Passed" are looking over us, listening to us, and doing their best to help us deal with the obstacles that life puts in front of us.
    An example... My mother HATED motorcycles. Out of respect, I waited until after she passed before I started riding and got my first bike. (A 1972, 750 BMW) Every rider has a story. I was doing 55mph in the center lane of the LIE. A car entered the Expressway doing 35mph. I watched him carefully... Surely he will stay in the right hand lane until he reaches speed limit. WRONG... When I was 5 or 10 feet behind him, he entered the center lane. I grabbed a handful of brake, leaned right but it was not enough. I hit the back of the car with my front wheel and I was airborne. After what seemed to be forever, I hit the ground and thought, "THE NEXT THING YOU FEEL WILL BE THE THING THAT KILLS YOU". When it was all over, I sat on the highway divider thinking "I CAN'T BELIEVE I AM STILL ALIVE". APPARENTLY, SOMEONE WAS WATCHING OVER ME. Thanks Mom.
    Someday I will share what happened after my bother 'Passed'.

  9. @Grumpa, I clearly remember this story you've told me before and it still gives me chills! I have no doubt you have a guardian angel. I also wholly believe that we can talk to our loved ones who have passed. My point to the concrete thinking little one was that he wouldn't have Great-Grandma respond in conversation. As he grows I will explain that we can always talk to THEM!
    Thank you, as always, for your perspective, your input, and your readership, Grumpa. And thank you, as always, for your friendship! :-)

    I appreciate EVERYONE'S comments and support! XO

  10. That was a very good piece of writing about a difficult topic and you handled it so well. You wrote of my exact thoughts pertaining to death as it is. There may not always be that reason or cause or even the blame for every death but everyone will eventually die,as you stated a process of living. I know that IRL and NASCAR have made great strides in their safety efforts but you reach a point when enough is enough. Your driving a car over 200 mph,you could be killed and if you do not know that something bad is wrong. I liken it to our fearful fight against germs. We clean our homes with these chemicals now that sterilize all surfaces and wonder why our children have immune problems. I ate dirt as a child,,mud pies and all. I just feel we can go to far,just as i have in this comment and i apologize.
    Thank you Candice for an exceptional article.