I always wondered how we death was going to be introduced to our kids. I remember having four grandparents die before I was 8 years old. The first funeral I attended, I remember messing around and trying to chase my sister around the grave site.
On Emmie’s first birthday, my last great grandparent and the one I was closest with, died. It was really rough for me considering the day it happened. The kids came to the funeral but pretty much stayed in the care with Chris. They didn’t know what was going on since they were so young.
My great grandma was the first someone I lost when I felt like an adult. Ever since then, I get practical thoughts about death. I’ve told Chris what I want, if I should ever die untimely. As the kids get older, I know that they will start to lose people and I have often wondered how to teach it to them.
My husband is spiritual/ religious while I am an atheist. We both believe that the monsters should go to church simply for the fact that they can learn some great morals(and if/when they choose they don’t want to continue going, that fine as well). I’ve also stated that they will not be taught all the things some churches believe to be immoral.
This past weekend, we went to my Brother-In-Law’s school. They have a cemetery out back that I wanted to walk through. I love looking at old grave stones but it also makes me feel like the person isn’t forgotten because someone cares to look still, even if it’s only momentarily.
Landon and Emmie chose to join me along with my in-laws and husband. They wanted to know what the stone were. We are always pretty upfront with our kids. I told Landon, since he asked, that people who died were under the stones and it’s where their families came so they could still see them. He understood pretty well.
At the same school function, Landon won fish for his sister and himself. He was so excited about winning. It was the thing he wanted to do most at the fair. The monsters named the fishies Phineas and Ferb. We told them right off that bat that these fish don’t generally last and die quickly. (Although, I found out this isn’t usually due to the fish, but improper tanks and care.)
Landon’s little guy died first. I didn’t know how he was going to take it. He was upset but we told him that we world get a real aquarium and more fish soon. The saddest part of it all, Landon said “Awww he’s napping mommy.” Yea…not so much. Emmie’s died about an hour later. She started bawling immediately. She has a love for all animals so I understand why it was so hard for her. She cried for a good 15 to 20 minutes but luckily was fine after that.
We didn’t have to deal with the “What happens when you die?” questions this time, which I’m thankful for. Chris and I have yet to discuss how we would handle the existence of Heaven. I know they don’t fully grasp how final something like death is, but hopefully this helps them to be less scared of it when it’s experienced again.
Have you kids had to experience death? Was it hard for them to understand?