When I was little, I wrote stories. They were usually adventure stories, long and drawn out accounts of kids trapped in the wilderness, usually being pursued by criminals or madmen. Not surprisingly, the main protagonists looked and acted a lot like me and my two best friends (also my cousins). We (oops, I meant they) were resourceful and brave in the face of danger, clear-headed and cool when it was time to make life-or-death decisions. Of course, the stories weren't complete without a cute boy or two.
The usual backdrop for these stories was the death of the parents of one of the protagonists (me), which meant she had to go live with her two cousins (my cousins), and thus the adventures could begin.
My mother would always ask me, half-jokingly, why her parents had to die. I didn't have an answer at the time, except to roll my eyes and retort, "It's just make-believe, Mom!"
Here's an article from the Guardian: "Ryan Gibley on the importance of taking kids to scary movies," which says "while children require the stability of a caring parental environment, they need also to fantasise about losing or destroying it." Experiencing the fear of such an event actually occurring is essential to their emotional development.
So there you go, Mom. I was maturing my emotions while writing those silly stories.