4 The Unavoidable

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

As a parent you know there will eventually be those unavoidable topics we are all dreading. Drugs, alcohol, the birds and the bees, that kind of thing. And we spend a better part of our lives preparing for those moments so that when they come we can have an easy and carefree explanation at hand. Even though I know Im going to end up blacking out looking like a deer in head lights and all that will be able to come out of my mouth is sort of an 'uuuuuuhhhhhhhh bllluuhhhhhhhh mmmmmmm yep.' and then when I come to I will feel like I have an amazing job and my children will be even more confused then they were before. In which case in my moment of total defeat I will say 'oh i don't know, google it' and walk away.

While most of these talks are years away (decades i hope) some of them creep up on us so freakin early while we are so not prepared.

Peyton has had a sort of obsession with death for a while now. When at the zoo she prefers to look at animal fossils rather than the real deal. Recently when at the museum of natural history she was totally uninterested in the animals, the insects, the dinosaurs, but there happened to be a special exhibit on human remains and she would not leave it to save my life. Asking what this bone was and that bone. Mesmerized by the mummies. She was genuinely upset when we had to go.

When we go on our walks to my moms we pass an old graveyard and every time we pass she wants to go in. Like begs.

We also live across the road from anther cemetery and they are always having funerals. She asks what they are doing and why. Also she will often ask where the zombies are.

I know it's totally normal for a three almost four year old (lets not even talk about that) to have these questions. She's curious and every day is new for her. Death is a part of life and I know she needs to learn about it but at this age just how much do you let her in on?

I have found that I haven't really censored myself thus far. When a funeral is happening I tell her someone has died and they are burying them. When we see an animal dead on the ground I don't say it's sleeping I tell her that it died. I tell her that the people who die have gone to heaven and that they won't be coming back. She asks why people die and I say sometimes they get very sick, or very hurt, or it just happens when people get very old.

I'm new at this and I don't really know what the proper limits are when explaining death to you child.  I don't want to desensitize her from death, I don't want to scare her, but I also don't want to lie to her or fluff it up too much. Have you come across this topic yet? What have you found yourself saying? Do you spare the harsh reality or do you tell it how it is? How much is too much?

Basically what I'm saying is... Haaaaallppp!

4 Leave Some Love:

deanna@delirious-rhapsody said...

gage's great grandfather died right after his third birthday. we let him go to the funeral and visitation, so he has been pretty knowledgeable on life/death since he was three.

only recently gage asked me exactly how they embalm a dead person. now that was interesting to explain.

Jess and Tom Roberts said...

for us its easy, but it comes with religion - we explain before she came to live with mommy and daddy, before she was a baby or was in mommies tummy she was living with her Heavenly Father (God). Then when people die its time for them to return to Him and we will see them when its our turn. We explain its almost like a happy time because our heavenly father missed them and cant wait to see them in heaven.

as for the scientific stuff... well. im not sure! the "how do they embalm a dead person" is kinda funny! For graves i guess i would explain to her that thats a place where we can go and "visit". Their body is there but spirit is in heaven with Heavenly Father and so forth.

im so not excited for certain talks! haha at least i only have one girl. ill leave hte boys to tom!

Jess Craig said...

same. i'm honest and just say that people die and whatever. what's weird is the questions beyond that. like, where's heaven? can i go there? can i see someone when they are in heaven? how do they get there?

help ME.

The Peanut Gallery said...

Deanna - I remember you talking about that a while ago. I actually thought about that when I was writing this. We have been blessed to not have had to deal with a close death in Peyton's life time. Im sure once that happens things will become a lot more real.

Jessie- Yeah that makes things easier. We do tell her that dead people go to heaven with God but we aren't crazy religious so she still doesn't fully understand God. We are talking about putting her in some sort of sunday class because I feel like they will be better at explaining it than we are!

Jess- Ha! I know STOP WITH THE QUESTIONS!!! Its like you want to be honest but they are so young and you don't want to break their little hearts or make them have to worry about life and death so early on. Shits tough.

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