Remember our children have a totally different view of dying and death and they need to be able to ask questions and get some ‘real’ answers. Here is a piece from When Death Speaks – Listen, Learn, and Love;
“Grandpa Joe was lying in a brown wood box. He was dressed in a business suit. His eyes were closed. He looked really white. His body was stiff and cold when I touched his face and hands. I got into trouble for doing that, which confused me even more.
People would go up to this box and do something or say something. I couldn’t hear or understand them because their backs were to me. An adult told me it was a private matter and not to ask again about what was going on.
But I had lots of questions! I couldn’t find anyone who would answer them. Everyone seemed so busy and preoccupied or just unwilling to talk with me about death.
Why is Grandpa’s skin so white?
Why are some people crying so much?
What is he in the box for?
Why is he dressed in a suit?
Where is he going?
Why does he have makeup on?
Why does he feel so cold?
Where do dead people go?
Will he be lonely?
Will he miss me?
When am I going to die?
I couldn’t find any answers, so I started to make things up in my own mind, creating my own answers based on fear and uncertainty, based on the reactions I saw in the adults around me. It felt like there was something wrong with death, and that it was somehow bad.”
Help your children and children around you figure death out in a way they understand and in a way that is real. It is not necessary to protect them, they just want real answers in simple terms to the challenging questions they ask. As adults we are actually protecting ourselves from death by avoiding these innocent questions from our children.
Warmly and with love