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. :)