Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Life and Death

I need a bit of advice. Lael is at a stage where she is beginning to question life and death. She's becoming more and more curious on why and how babies come. She knows they are carried in a mother's belly but is curious for how the baby gets there and why I don't have another baby.

At the same time she is asking lots of questions about death. She and her sister have played the "Play Dead" game and I have freaked out and told them it wasn't allowed. Just the idea of one of them pretending to be dead scares the hell out of me.

At this time in Lael's life, her Wonderful, Beautiful, Brilliant, Extraordinary (can you tell I love her) teacher is dealing with both life and death and has tried to explain it to Lael and the rest of her class.

This has prompted more questions from Lael. The thing is her teacher is away for a few weeks because she has a father who is dying from Cancer and only has a few days or maybe weeks left. She explained to the kids that she would be away for a few weeks because her father was sick and she was going to the hospital to be with him. She also told the kids that she is pregnant and will be having another baby in May. This is very exciting news for the kids as well.

My dilemma is that Lael comes home talking about her teacher's father and that he is sick and that he will get better soon and I'm afraid that I need to prepare her for the fact that her teacher may or may not tell them her father passed away.

If her teacher doesn't tell them is it ok for me to avoid explaining death to her? She understands about caterpillars dying and even her fish that we flushed down the toilet to be in the ocean with his "family". But I'm afraid that she won't understand human death the same way.

What should I do? How do I explain these things to my 5 year old? Should I do the dodge dance and wait a few years?

What did you do? Help.


  1. Ok, so you know our family experienced a loss 2 years ago of another child the kids were close to. This is a subject we as adults think TOO MUCH about how to explain it to children. Tell her what you believe to be true about death and that it is nothing to be afraid of because it is a fact that we will all die someday and will never know that day. Now babies is the same just tell her the general idea. It does not need to be in great detail but also needs to be the truth. No lies. You want Lael to hear it all from you so remember that when you talk to her about these important issues. Call me if you need my help, we have already done this several times. Gets easier each time. Luv ya chica

  2. I agree with the above. I have just tried to give only the information that they ask, but to be honest with it. At least regarding how babies get here. As far as death, we've been very straightforward with what we believe. And since we do believe in Heaven and an afterlife, it makes it less scary.

  3. Hi! Thanks for commenting on my blog! :)

    I would say to give her information when she asks. And I'd be honest, but as gentle as you can. Pass on whatever your beliefs are of life and death, and let her express whatever she believes of life and death. I'd say avoid going too in-depth--that goes along with just answering what she asks--but just be honest and try to make it a reverent moment between you too, and maybe it will be a good memory for her, or at least a loving one.


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