Skip to comments.How to explain death to a child vanity
Posted on 12/27/2012 7:37:53 PM PST by goodwithagun
Our neighbor, and my children's surrogate grandmother, passed away. My daughter is only 16 months but my son is four. He is obsessed with Jesus and the crucifix, so I think we are going to go with: "Ninny is in Heaven with Jesus," although I know he will continue to ask for her for a while. Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Truth in Christ always works. Children are never too young to know the truth. Birth and death are everyday things. Conditioning of the soul, unfortunately, is not an everyday thing. It is important that our children and ourselves are received in death with clean hearts and souls. Death is the deadline to accomplish that, whether one is a child or an adult.
The best explanation I’ve ever seen is that scene from House Boat with Cary Grant as he explains to his son about death. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ynMrmloUVA&list=PL1D5FA543ECB913EB&index=4
“Ninny is in Heaven with Jesus,”
That’s as good as it gets.
Death, our mortality is a topic which is denied or pressed into the background, like the idea that there is no such thing as evil. Death (the consequence of sin) and evil are real and those that deny this end up drifting into a twisted relativistic world where only the “here, the now and I” matter.
That’s fine. My cousin passed away this year and it was explained to her young grandchildren that our souls are like the hand and our bodies are like the glove and that when we die the glove falls off and the hand is free to travel to Heaven. Young children understand hands and gloves so the image works very well for them and the process seems far less frightening.
In heaven with Jesus is a great explaination for all Christian children...because that is the truth. They will all see each other again.
That is probably all you need to say. I don't think you will get too many other questions. If you do (my 4 year old asked about eating and drinking in heaven) usually a short answer is enough and believe me, he'll never call you on it later on.
Your answer is spot on.
You can add that it’s ok to be happy for her because she is with Jesus, but it’s also ok to be sad because he misses her.
Well, it’s not Pauline doctrine, you know, as far as “the truth” goes. It’s right there in Corinthians.
Perhaps I’m splitting hairs. My mother-in-law passed away recently, and my 4-year old grandaughter, having been very inquisitive about the whole thing, made the trip for the funereal services. It was a graveside service, and several spoke, including the sister of the deceased who affirmed her sister’s belief, which she shared, in an afterlife contingent upon that belief, more or less. This was just blah blah blah to my grandaughter, I presume. She had expressed an understanding, though, of the idea of dying, based more on nature than any kind of spiritualism. It starts with bugs, which are anthropomorphically prominent in childrens literature, but do make their appearances, often brief, in family life. She gets the picture.
It is the blessing of youth that one exempts oneself from this ultimate necessity.
Keep it simple.
1) Anthropology of man, from Adam, we are made with Body, Soul, and Spirit.
2) After the Garden of Eden, natural man only has a Body and Soul, but a reborn Spirit is given those who have faith in Christ by God Himself.
3) Death is a state of existence involving separation.
4) When we die physically, the first death, our soul and spirit is separated from our bodies.
5) Body goes to the grave. Soul either goes to the torments for unbelievers or with God for believers. If we also have a reborn human spirit, it also goes to God, just like Christ gave His to God the Father on the Cross.
6) We grieve at death. We grieve because we know we will not be able to be with the person who died at least until we get to heaven or maybe never. We grieve because we are separated from somebody we loved, at no fault of our own, nor can we do anything to change it.
7) The same lonely feeling we have when we grieve, is the same feeling God has every time we ever do something that He didn’t Plan for us to do, which is called sin or missing the mark. That’s why God tells us not to Grieve the Holy Spirit, which is what happens when we sin,...we separate our selves from God who loves us very much and wants to always be in fellowship with us.
8) So place these things in God’s hands and let Him provide. He loves us very much and won’t forget us when we need Him.
IMHO, nothing wrong in comparing life in fellowship with another as the opposite of death.
For a youngster, it probably won’t fully satiate his search for an explanation. He still will experience grief and wonder about the difference between the body and soul, our thinking processes from the physical, mental perception from physical perception.
Our society is immersed in existentialism, attempting to ignore the existence of body, soul, and spirit after death. By stressing the element of separation of body and soul (our mental thinking processes), it leaves the door open for a less ignorant future.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.