Monday, July 13, 2009

Learning About Death

Yes, this is a heavy topic for a homeschooling/craft blog, but I thought I would share a bit of a conversation Little Bean and I had this morning. First, I want to say that we have not intentionally spoken to our kids about death and dying, but have been more than forthright with them when they ask questions or when it's necessary to talk about death and what happens when someone or something dies.

A few months ago, Little Bean began to really understand the difference between living and dead animals. He began to notice when bugs were dead. We've had several fish who have died, and this last one (just a few weeks ago), we had a little funeral for and buried it in our backyard. We each said something nice about "Betty" and made a little rock pile above her grave. This was eye-opening for Little Bean, and he talked about her and her funeral for a while after that.

This morning Little Bean (out of nowhere) asked if humans could die, and of course, I wasn't going to lie, so I told him that all humans would die, that all living things will die at some point. He didn't believe me at first, and thought I was joking (we joke a lot around here), but when he realized that I was being serious, he started to cry. He kept asking and asking whether it was true, and I would explain to him that all things will die at some point, and that is why I buckle him in his car seat to keep him safe, etc.

I'm so grateful and thankful that we belong to the Christian faith, because without it, I really don't know how I would comfort Little Bean about the thought of people he loves dying. I was able to tell him that while his body would die someday, that because he believes in Jesus and salvation through Him, that after his body dies, his mind and heart, and all those things that he feels, the "real" him, will live forever in heaven with God. He kept asking me, "Our body will die, but then God will make us alive again, right?" And I'm so glad I can tell him yes to that question. :)


TheRockerMom said...

That is so deep for such a little guy to ponder. I think you handled it much better than I could have. I hope I remember your words when the time comes for me to answer these questions.

Christy said...

Death is so difficult for children to understand. We lost our dog in September (my oldest son's first day of middle school) and it was so painful. I think I cried more because I couldn't stand the pain my children were dealing with. It's bringing me to tears just thinking about it. Anyway, my 3 yr old still asks when the dog is coming back and we have talked about death and heaven so many times, but it's just a difficult concept to grasp when you think the world revolves around you.

Lea said...

I think you handled that very well and I agree about the thankfulness for our Christian faith. My two sons have asked about death and have talked about it a lot also. Same situation...dead bugs and then they have seen pictures in a child's book of Jesus dying on the cross and they talk a lot about that. They have never really shown any sadness about people dying so I'm not sure they really get it yet. We only have two cats so they have not had a pet dying experience yet. It is a tough subject to discuss with a three year old.

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