Friday, January 6, 2012

What's the deal?

So lately my Lillie-Kate is obsessed with death!!  I think it's so strange.  No one close to us has died recently and none of her little friends (what few she has) have lost anyone either.  Within the past two years four of our neighborhood dogs have died, including our own Shazzie, and so I assume this is where this is coming from. 
Other then that I have to admit in recent weks the subject of death has come up between my husband and I or on the phone with my mom quite often.  My sister-in-laws(sil) mom has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and it is untreatable.  I have talked to my husband about it and received updates from my mom on the phone and I know many of these conversations have been in front of her. I am so sad for Dawn(sil) and her family.  I know Linda, her mom, from going to my brother's house or from neices and my nephew's bday parties.  So I have cried about it and I know I've cried in front of the girls.
The other thing that has recenly happened is a MOPS friend suddenly lost her brother due to a brain anyurism.  He was only 29 and obviously it was very unexpected.  The subject of Ryan has been brought up several times in front of the girls but not necessarily in direct conversation with the girls.
So anyway she brings up the subject of death often.  She comes up to me and will say Mommy I don't want you to die.  or I don't want to die, or I don't want anyone I love to die.  She'll say I don't want you to go live with Jesus yet I just want you to stay with me!
So my questions are, one: Is this normal? especially given the recent subject matter discussed in my house.  How do I approach this?  I have told her that I also don't want anyone I love to die and that when we do die we get to live with Jesus and that is an incredible gift but the people we live behind miss us.  I don't want to promise her no one will die because you never know what is going to happen.
Second:  Is it inappropriate for me to discuss Linda or Ryan in front of the girls?  I honestly didn't think much of it.  I have tried to explain to the girls what has happend and encouraged them to pray for both families.  Am I out of line?  I just feel like they need to learn empathy and what their cousins are about to go through is going to be so difficult and I want them to pray for their cousins.
Third:  When Linda does pass away what do I say or do with the girls?  My decision would be to not take them to the visitation or funeral.  They don't know her and I feel like they are too young, they are only 4.  But should I explain to them where I am going and why?

I suppose I understand why this is a subject she has brought up a lot lately but I'm not certain how much she understands about death.  She never mentions Linda or Ryan but does talk about all the dogs a lot.  She will tell random people how Snickers and Lucy died and how Shazzi and Buddy died last year and how it makes her so sad.  I guess this is just the first of those deep subjects that will come up in their lives I just wasn't expecting it so early on.


  1. I am having the same thing with my son. He witnessed the death and funeral of our daughter when he was 2 1/2 years old. Then again last year during 2 miscarriages. The only way I ever got him away from the subject of death was to talk to him about it. He knows that his sister is in Heaven and that one day we all we meet again, but for right now, we need to live our life for Jesus and lead others to Christ so that they can meet up with their families in Heaven. He is 4 also, and so far it is working. About once a month the subject comes up, but with the same few things said above, he seems happy with it and is quite about it for a few weeks. I would talk to them, we never hid our miscarriages from Conner, and I feel that has been beneficial to him. He did go to our daughter's funeral, but he hasn't been to any others with us yet. Praying for you, this was very hard for me to talk about with him for awhile until I got control of my emotions, but know it is easier and I feel he understands Heaven and living for Jesus now better than some! Lots of hugs help also!

  2. Thank you so much Cat. My feeling was I should talk to them more about it but I wasn't sure. Withouth them having lost someone close to them I just didn't feel the need to go into so deeply yet. I have discussed my miscarriage with them a little before but never thought about really explaining it to them. I love the idea of telling them that we need to lives our lives for Jesus and lead others to Christ. I do tell them all the time that even though it seems impossible to me that Jesus loves them more then I ever could and he will always be there for them even when I am not and maybe we should do a lesson on that.

  3. and I meant to say Thank You for sharing your story it is very touching. God bless you!

  4. Thank you for sharing this and posting the question on the ABCJLM Facebook Group.
    First, I would say that children talking about death is very normal. It is something that is different and abstract for them. They don't understand and often times they receive "weird" reactions from adults when they talk about it.

    Secondly, God has provided an awesome opportunity to explain that Christians don't have to fear death. Actually, for a person who has ask forgiveness and chosen to live for Jesus death is the road to home. I encourage you to sit down with her and discuss Heaven. Talk about how Jesus made the way for us to go to Heaven by dying on the cross and raising again. Here is a link to some books to use when talking to your child -

    I pray that the Holy Spirit would give you the words and wisdom to talk to your precious daughter.


  5. Thank you Heidi!
    Good to know it's normal and she's not experiencing some kind of anxiety.

  6. Angela,
    When Grandma passed in 1998 Devin was just 2 and a few months. He was so close to her, I knew it would be a trying time and I also silently disputed what he should attend and shouldn't. Steve and I decided that we would not take him to visitation or the service. I picked him up after the service and took him to the cemetery and the luncheon afterwards. I don't think I would have taken him to that either if it weren't for knowing that he was a spark of joy and life for Grandpa. I'm glad I didn't take him to the service though because he surprisingly still remembers her and I am glad he remembers her as she was not as she was in the casket. We did openly talk about her and about death, about how people go to stay with God and how we celebrate their lives not their deaths and that it is okay to feel sad. I'm happy with our results and it prepared me for helping Dakota go through it at age 4 when my aunt passed from pancreatic cancer.