Saturday, June 02, 2007

How do you explain death and deal with bereavement?

From BHA site:

“Death has been dealt with in a factual manner, but not unsympathetically. For example following the recent death of their Grandma we have shared our feelings of sorrow without suggesting belief in any after-life.”

“Having pets, being involved in nature conservation and having a number of relatives die did it for us. We have our own sadness and they can empathise and when we explain what our feelings are, they will have some understanding, which will develop as they grow.”

"We have had lots of pets, and the children are used to the idea that all animals and humans have a natural life span, and can get sick and have accidents before that life span is over. We talk about the quality of the animal's life, and feel glad that we give our pets the happiest time possible. We have little funerals for the animals when they die. I make it clear to the children that the funeral is for them so that they can have a happy memory of their pet, not for the pet, who is dead and doesn't care what happens to them."

"When the children ask what death is like, I ask them what it was like before they were born. My children seem happy with the idea that being dead is just like not being born yet - not horrible, not scary, not sad, not boring, just not..."

"We haven't had to deal with human death yet. My daughter often refers to her long-dead grandma 'in heaven', but when I check with her what she believes about heaven she says ‘Duh! It's only pretend!’ Heaven is perhaps her way of dealing with something that is too big for her to understand. I don't feel that there is any harm in it.”

"Everyone and everything that lives is also going to die. People are going to be leaving you all through your life, and when some people leave, all you have left of them is memory. As long as you remember them, they never leave you.”

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