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Author Topic: Talking to your Children about Death...  (Read 1145 times) Average Rating: 0
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ignatius
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« on: February 23, 2007, 02:21:47 PM »

Hi Everyone,

While my daughter and I where watching the moving Bridge to Terabithia she asked me about 'death' and 'where did the little girl in the movie go'.

I'm interested in how other parents have handled this question with their children between the ages of 4-6?
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St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
TinaG
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2007, 03:09:44 PM »

Boy, that's a toughie the first time they ask you about that isn't it?  It must be the age because my almost 5 yo has been asking about death a lot lately.   

I try to keep it simple and on his level.  I tell him that everything dies - plants, animals, people.  That our bodies get old or sick, but that God the Father loves us so much that he wants everyone to be with him forever in Heaven, and if we love Jesus and love God's Holy Church, we will go to live with him in Heaven, and with the Mother of God, the Saints and everyone else who loves Jesus too.  He sometimes gets very upset and says "I don't want to die" or "I don't want Mommy to die".  So I have to reassure him that I love him and that I don't want to leave him and that, God willing, it may not happen for a long, long time, but we will all be together in Heaven one day.  It's like the big S... talk - give 'em only what they can understand at the time and don't make it into some long, convoluted explanation about sin, redemption, etc...   

Even with all the explanations I don't think he really understands what death is, because he keeps saying that if Mommy & Daddy die they are going to become mummies and join the Army of the Undead Mummies and fight bad guys (Thanks to TV and his 7 yo brother's fascination with anything Egypt right now).
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2007, 12:53:25 PM »

Good response, Tina!

I remember when my Grandmother died when I was 6. My mom decided to tell me at a young age why death happens, and though it's painful, it's the best thing for a child to know the truth.

It's always easier when the family is religious, too. I can only imagine the pain when an atheist parent tells their child "Your grandmother died, and you'll never see her again."

The best way I can see handling it is to say that the person is still alive, but not on Earth. And that eventually, everyone will see that person again. But I would be careful to leave out the Church, as it's best for people to come across that on their own. Because we do not know who is saved and who is not, we cannot teach others something that should be an individual's own opinion.
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"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, nor mourning nor crying nor suffering, for the old order of things has passed away."
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