My son has been asking a lot of questions about dying lately. I am finding that the age of 6 is when they start really tuning into this fact of life. At first I thought it was just C and because of our situation. But after talking to his friends moms their children are also talking a lot about dying and have questions. When Scott died we gave a very short explanation since he was only 3. We explained he was broken and couldn't be fixed. and when you can't be fixed you die and go to heaven and live with God. Recently we took him to the graves site and told him this was a place to go to remember those in heaven. He doesn't know that their are bodies buried there.
A few months ago as I was cooking dinner and out of the blue C asked will I die one day. I froze. I hate that question. How do I answer that...I can't say yes when your old. He knows you don't have to be old when you die. So I said we will talk about it another time and changed the subject. The thought of talking about dying with C and that he will die one day...I don't want to think about my only living son dying. Since then he has been asking if people are alive or dead. singers, people from history etc.
I finally decided that my husband and I need to sit down with him and talk to him about death. I haven't been very religous since Scott died. I still have lots of anger, questions among other things. I knew our church had a new minister and I had met her. She seem very nice, around my age. I met with her last week and we just talked. She made me feel more at peace. She didn't try to sell me a bill of goods or say Scott is in a better place. The quickest way to push me away and anger me is to say that phrase to me. His better place is with me and I well tell you that till my last breath here on earth. But anyway we talked we talked about explaining death to a child. She gave me some good tips and then she told me something that I hadn't realize. She said if we openly talk about it and not make it into a big deal that C won't find a big deal. That got me thinking. My biggest fear is that he is going to have anxiety about dying but I realized that we are creating it more if we act weird about it and don't talk about it. so we are going to sit down with him tonight and talk about it with C.
I really don't want to. But as a parent I have too. I thought about having my mom do it but I realized his parents need to do it. We have a plan. My husband has given up on religion, has no faith left. I'm on the fence. But we both decided that using God using heaven is a simple way to explain it C and that it won't make it sound so scary. We found a picture book to read about a dog in heaven. and it describes how the dog watched his little boy from heaven and visits his dreams. We liked that since Scott visits us as butterflies and send rainbows as gifts. We are going to ask what questions he has and then we are going tell him that his brother is buried at the cemetary. We realized we want him to hear it from us and not a friend at school. I may need a drink later tonight..
You are handling a really tough situation so very well. I know you don't want to do this but you're doing it anyway because you're an awesome mom who wants to help her son navigate the world and unfortunately, death is part of this world. You know this better than most and you are absolutely the best one to give him the answers he seeks.
Good luck. Your sweet boy is so lucky to have such an attentive mom.
I've had this conversation many times with mine. Hugs to you! It is best if he hears it from his parents, so you're awesome for making the plan to talk with him and answer his questions. Probably going to come up again, but his questions will change more as he grows.
D gets it and even T knows the drill. He says N died in my tummy at 30 weeks. He couldn't breathe. He's in heaven. It's weird to hear that out loud from my own son, but it's the simple truth of what happened. Melts my heart when they remember him. I hope they always do.
Thinking of you tonight:) Cheers on that beverage! Oh, how I'll never refuse an open bar.
As you said death is a "natural" part of life. What you experienced isn't the "natural" part of life. Your sweet Scott is gone far too soon. It makes sense to me that you struggle to address this topic at all, especially with C. I admire your strength in a very difficult situation. I hope your conversation with C went the way you had hoped it would and you're feeling a little more peace with it. You definitely deserve that drink. Or two.
My heart is with you. In my work I've always told parents, when kids are old enough to ask, they're old enough to have an answer. Taking my own advice as a parent has been difficult- like you I wanted them to hear the story and the answers through me and although sometimes I worry they know too much, they also know nothing else so for them it's as normal as sliced bread and I see no worry on their faces when they talk about death- it's a curiosity met with the same interest as a new bug they find.
Update when you can, I'm thinking of you, I hope it was a strong drink and I'm confident knowing you and the amazing love you have for your boys that the right words found you when you needed them.
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