Tag Archives: funerals

We are all dying…

Two funerals in a month. No one exceptionally close to me, but rather parents of extremely close friends. Life does not last forever. We all die. That is one thing that doesn’t change.  So why are parents so afraid to speak about death to their kids?  Often a distant family member or friend will die, yet, parents will “shelter” their kids from it and not even take them to the funeral, wake, or memorial service.  What happens then when a close family member or friend dies – which will inevitably happen.  I have a close friend who lost her husband and father on the same day.  Her feelings on death before that were practically non-existent.  Not that she didn’t think death would happen, she just never expected it to happen to her.  It did and it rocked her world.  My daughter was 3 months at the time.  Although she doesn’t remember any of it, she went to the wake, she went to the funeral, we have spoken to her about it, she knows it happened and she knows she was part of it.  We had another friend who lost their 10 year old daughter, lost her before we were even friends with them, yet my kids know Sarah as if they had played with her.  We talk about how Sarah died, how she is now in heaven, how life does end (and I have chosen to teach my kids that when people die they go to heaven, you can choose your own “place” based on your own spiritual beliefs).  My son once said he is excited to die so he can see heaven and all his friends and family who are in heaven.  What a great attitude about death!  It shouldn’t be scary for our kids.  Why do we feel that they will not be able to handle it?  They are probably more capable of processing it and handling it than adults. Don’t hide death from them, it is all around us.  Trees die, flowers die, pets die, and people die – people who we know and love, they die.  Embrace it, talk about it.  Don’t put your head in the sand and never speak to your kids about it.  Pretending it doesn’t exist or that they are just too young to “get it” is doing your children an incredible dis-service.  God forbid you are the first one in their life to die – then what?  You, the person they counted on for everything is now gone, and they have no idea what to think , feel or do with it.  Give them the emotional tools to look death in the eye and know that it happens and it isn’t something to be afraid of, not talked about, or swept under the rug like it never happened.