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Kids are often surprisingly wise for their age. But kids who are dying often have even more profound things to say, despite their young age. Just ask Alastair McAlpine.

McAlpine, a pediatrician based in South Africa, decided to ask some of his young patients what gave their lives meaning. It’s a sad but powerful exercise, and their meaningful responses just might blow you away.

He took to Twitter to share some of what the kids had to say — get out the tissues, because this thread is a real, honest-to-goodness tearjerker:

Technology wasn’t really a factor for most of them:

Many talked about their beloved pets:

And, sweetly, their parents:

And they especially loved when their parents read them stories:

They made some very grown-up reflections about what really matters and what doesn’t:

They were big fans of swimming:

And they most remembered the people who showed them some bit of kindness:

They loved their families, too:

McAlpine wrapped up what he learned with a few final parting thoughts:

Wow, this entire thread was truly inspiring and we applaud McAlpine for the important work he does on a daily basis. It’s amazing what these children think and feel, even in some of their darkest hours. We could all truly learn a lot from the way their little minds work, don’t you think?

What have you learned from your children, your nieces and nephews or children you have encountered in your life? Any life lessons, big or small, that have come “out of the mouths of babes,” as they say?

Let us know in the comments!

We’d love to hear from you!