Tag Archives: explaining death

Death, simplified

I wrote this post not long after Memorial Day, and it got lost in the vault. I have taken an extended hiatus since Katie’s back surgery – almost two years ago now. I will be going into that more later. For the moment, I hope you enjoy this little bit of fluff.
This little memory doesn’t have a lot to do with anything. It is true that, as a parent of a child with lots of differences, I wind up trying to explain complicated things in simple ways – to children, to adults. I’m still working on it.

“These were people that died. We put their bodies underground. Then, we put a stone on top. But when I die, I’m not going underground, I’m going up to Heaven.”

This knocked me out of my own thoughts this morning. I woke up thinking about a friend who just buried her husband. A few years ago she buried her daughter. She put her eight year old next to the grave of her mother. This lady has way too much cemetery experience. (You can follow Karen at:
www.dflybuzz.blogspot.com
She can teach you all about grief and strength.)
Anna had her first cemetery visit yesterday. My parents put out flowers for family gone- for their parents, aunts and uncles, and for my niece’s dad, who died in a car crash last year.

So, how to explain the physicality of death to a five year old?

“Your body is just a house for your spirit. It lives right in the middle of you, where you feel joy. Some day, your body will die, and your spirit will break free and fly away like a butterfly. Your body will go underground, but you won’t be in it.

The people who love you and miss you will put a stone up to remember you.”

“Okay…?” This is what Anna says when her questions haven’t been covered well enough. “So… when do wasps die?”

When it’s cold? Probably. I went with that. At least I can take a decent stab at that one.