Monday, March 10, 2008

Death

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We've been talking a lot about death around here lately. Jack asked one day as we were driving around if he was going to die someday. I said yes and then he howled "Ohhhhhhhh" and then started firing the questions at me. "Is Grandma going to die.." Grandpa? how about his friend Maya? Stella? on and on we went with a few more "Ohhhh's" and "Noooo's" and "Why's". I reassured him it wouldn't be for a long time and it's all a part of living and really whatever else I could think of. Stella just wanted to know if she could still wear pink when she died. The questions kept coming and finally ended with "Is daddy going to die" and then "Are you going to die". As I was fielding these questions I knew I was not comfortable, and after about 10 minutes as each name was asked I found myself choked up and fighting back tears straining out my answers through a tight throat. I have never been comfortable with the subject of death. I feel a slight panic start to take over me when I think of my own death so really I just avoid the subject most of the time. I believe in God and a afterlife, in a heaven fully supplied with dark chocolate and beaches but somehow this hasn't cured me of my fears. I have been forced the last few weeks to talk about it with the kids. To answer their questions to the best of my ability and not change the subject or tell them we don't need to talk about it because we are all young. It's been a sort of therapy for me. I recently read about a wise old man in Bhutan who advised an American man to think of his own death for 5 minutes a day. Americans don't touch death or see it or smell it, we are out of touch he said and therefore scared. I've been forced to do this now for a couple weeks thanks to my kids and I can say I'm still spooked but I see a tiny change in me. An acceptance starting to form, I am staring to look forward to our death talks, I'm sorting out what my beliefs really are and starting to for the first time look at my fear, and try to not pass it onto my kids.

9 comments:

Renee said...

I know what you mean. I think the real fear is what we're leaving behind, not what we're entering into.

Amy Chionis said...

Whoa, you are wise and I have chills from reading this. I love your vulnerability and despite it, your willingness to hang in there and look at it...a beautiful model of courage for you and your babes.

Anonymous said...

First of all, "WE" don't die, our bodies do. We all will live forever, either in heaven or in hell. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 (You can't just believe there's a God . . even the demons believe there's a God. James 2:19)

A great book to read is "90 Minutes in Heaven" by Don Piper. He was killed in an auto accident and went to heaven for 90 minutes. It's a tiny glimpse of what heaven will be like. Can't wait!!

You're a great mom Heather! Keep on keepin' on!

Chris

vickie said...

yeah, my 5 yr old asks a lot about death and it is indeed an emotional and challenging subject. i'd love to hear what other moms tell their kids. i like to think that if we live fully enough we will fear it less in the end....and pondering death pushes me to live more like each day is the last. i guess that is something we should remind ourselves of daily...am i living on purpose right now...today! I like to think of coming back in the plants and the garden or a tree or something...becoming part of nature somehow makes me feel better. that and that we'll be with the ones we love dearest for eternity.

thanks for the thought provoking post.

Allison said...

Death just isn't easy, is it? Sounds like you are doing a great job with your kids. I loved what Renee said in her comment - it's so true! And Chris hit the nail on the head. If you want to read a blog from a mama that (unfortunately) has had a lot of experience talking about death to one of her babes, you should stop by http://noahsteven.blogspot.com. I don't know Adrienne except from her blog but she is an awesome person and has some great insight.

On a different note, we were outside about 1 1/2 hours ago and the moon looked exactly the same in our back yard! Okay, maybe that's not such a brilliant observation because of course we are looking up at the same moon, but we were outside at about the same time of dusk as you snapped the picture and your picture could've been snapped in our back yard...and we live in Georgia!

Praying that the Lord will lead you in your discussions with your kids and ease your fears about death,

Allison

Allison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allison said...

My comment posted twice so I deleted one of them. Didn't want you wondering about that!

Sivan said...

Death... used to be just another thought for me, growing and living in Israel. But now, it is scary and very uncomfortable. Growing in a "middle east kind of reality" with so much death around you, makes you touch and smell it almost on a daily basis. Used to be a main subject in my art. Thanks for making me think and realize how different my reality is now, in America.

jenica said...

wow.

what a good mama you are. kids are worse than the papparazzi. always in your face asking the tough questions. i think that the fact that you answered honestly and took the time for personal introspection on the subject says volumes about the person you are. ;-D