Sunday, January 31, 2010

Death, Dying, and Heaven

For the last six months or so one of our kids has been asking a lot of questions about death, dying, and heaven. This all came about during conversations about my Dad who passed away when I was 21. To be honest, we haven't talked much about Heinrich's mom yet because of the questions that could come up. Cancer is a tricky one to explain. It's important to us to talked about our loved ones but it's also very difficult to explain illness, death and heaven. The questions often get asked when we least expect it and lately there's been worry and concern. Of course the questions are not easy ones to answer and often lead to more questions. The conversation can go on and on. It's a fine line between telling the truth and scaring the child. If you haven't had this discussion with your child yet I'll share some of the questions that were asked. Perhaps it will give you enough of a heads up to prepare yourself with your answers for when your child is ready to ask them.

1) Why did Grandpa's heart stop.

2) If we eat well and exercise will we live forever. Will the dogs live forever?

3) Do teenagers die?

4) Do children die? Babies?

5) What does Heaven look like?

6) Can I go there?

7) How do we get to Heaven?

8) Will we know when we're going?

9) Who will we see in Heaven?

10) How do people die (be prepared to explain that there are many kinds of sick)?

There have been so many more but that's all I can think of for now. We did really enjoy the book "What is Heaven Like" by Beverly Lewis. We are going to start working on a detailed family tree soon and I'm sure that these discussions will come up again. I'm happy with how I dealt with the questions and concerns and feel that I've reassured my child until the next question comes up.

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