The Life Files – Death

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Today’s Life Files are a little different, I need your help, advice, and wisdom!! As of late, and with her age, Princess currently has a fascination, for lack of a better word, with death. Why do people die, how to people die, what happens when you die, where do you go, will I die, will you die…….many many questions! The long and short of it is, she knows that people and pets die, at this stage the reasoning has mainly been because they are old. She also knows that when you die, there is a funeral (explained as a sad party to say goodbye) and you are put into a box with flowers on top and placed into the ground (she explained this one to me, she has obviously seen it on TV somewhere, and once we walked past a funeral taking place).

But here is where I am now a little stuck, in a couple of weeks time, we are heading away as a family to the place where we once, long ago, we scattered my Grandmother’s ashes, to do the exact same for her Husband, my Pop and Princess’ little Poppy. What I am not sure of now, is how to explain this to her? I don’t want to lie to her, but I just know that although she will be ok with the whole ‘ashes’ part, but, I know she will ask about HOW he was turned into ashes?

So, beautiful readers out there, how would you explain this to a beautiful five year old soul?

Bel x

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8 thoughts on “The Life Files – Death

  1. Kirst says:

    I have always been honest with my kids. They understand that all living things die, sometimes through old age and sometimes through illness. They also understand that some people believe that they go to Heaven and others people don’t. It took them a little bit to get their head around the whole “burning the body” thing, but they accept it. We explained that the spirit of the person is still alive in our hearts and minds, and that the body is just like a box that holds that spirit and love. We explain that each person has the decision as to whether they want to be buried in the ground or cremated. There is nothing wrong with either decision, it’s personal choice.

    I think the key is to be honest, and don’t stumble around it. Just tell her very “matter of factly”. Don’t go too far into it, just explain that Poppy’s love and spirit are still with her as long as she remembers him. If you believe in Heaven, maybe you could say that scattering his ashes are a way of releasing his Spirit to God.

    In my experience a little bit of information is all that they need, then you can add to it as they ask more questions. Don’t offer the information up, just answer the questions as they come up. It’s a process.

    We started talking about death when my older daughter was about 3 and a half. We add to it as the questions arise. She has a good understanding and respect for death, to the point that when my Father In Laws best friend passed last year she went to her Poppy and said, “I’m so sorry that your best friend died Poppy, you must be really sad.” Respectful, sincere and heartfelt.

    Be honest, but only answer what she asks. You don’t want to confuse her yet, and can always add more as the questions arise.

    Sorry for the long comment.
    Good luck. xx

  2. Bec says:

    I believe honesty is the key for this, as she will remember the truths you have told her for a lifetime. Especially since the topic is one children face and are unfortunately exposed to at times suddenly or unexpectedly.
    I agree with the above post that you should answer questions as they arise and let Princess be in control of how much information she wants. She will be a great judge on what she she can process.
    I think your doing a fantastic job determining what you want her to know so continue to follow your instincts 🙂

  3. melissa says:

    Hi bel, i agree with the above two posts also. As you know amelia has also asked many and varied questions to interesting topics that we as adults and parents might find difficult to answer to such young innocent hearts and minds but i believe honesty is the key. Start with a simple and truthful answer and answer any questions phoebe may have as you go along. Best of luck lovely xx

  4. Sarahdipity says:

    Hmmm this is a tricky one. I’m in two minds, whilst I do think its important to be honest, the burning of a body can be quite a scary concept for most adults let alone children. Having said that, a lot of the time children will surprise us with their resilience and we need to give them more credit. I think the advice given above about giving simple, straightforward answers and then letting her guide you is the way to go. Whatever you decide make sure you let us know because if I know princess she’ll be asking us all!

  5. amumsreality says:

    Thanks everyone for you beautifully, well thought out replies! It’s given me a lot to think about but I think you are all right, honesty is the best policy with our children with information appropriate for their age. Will keep you all posted on how we go x

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