I can't remember talking about death in front of her. I don't think she has seen any TV or videos that address death. I had no idea it was a concept she had any, any idea about.
We immediately reassured her, of course. "You aren't going to die. Mama isn't going to die. Daddy and William and Freddy aren't going to die". She stayed on the subject a while, saying "I don't want Freddy to die! I am NOT going to die" I took her to see sleeping Freddy, and awake William, to see they were alive and well. She seems okay now, and hasn't said anything more.
But why? I do remember that both boys had a period of time around when they were eight that they worried about me dying. They said if they were at school and anyone came to the classroom and told something privately to the teacher, they were sure the teacher was being told I was dead. That was a little tough to deal with, but they got over it, and I think maybe it's something that around 8 becomes a worry. But Janey is in no way developmentally eight. She rarely says complete original sentences like that at all. If she does, we can usually figure out where they came from, and they are reworkings of sentences she has heard. But this? Unless there is some very odd stuff being taught at school I'm not aware of, which I seriously doubt, she has not heard much about death.
It's this kind of thing that makes autism so mysterious and hard to figure out. It's these weird little oddities of Janey that keep us guessing. I think I have her figured out, her abilities and moods and worries, and then I find I don't.
So I'll just keep reassuring her that none of us are dying soon. And I'll keep trying to figure out my little girl.