Introducing Death

Filed under: Relatives

Last week, my brother-in-law's mother-in-law passed away. It was not unexpected, but it has, nonetheless, caused much grief and pain for the family. Tomorrow there is going to be a viewing, followed by a rosary. The viewing is going to be open-casket. We're planning to go to the viewing (although we won't let the kids participate in the actual viewing) and, possibly, the rosary (though, I'm not sure how appropriate that would be) to show our support for and offer our condolences to the family.

This is the first time someone the kids actually knew has passed away. My parents were both gone before Jared was born and Rachel's folks are, thankfully, still going strong. Now, they didn't know this woman extremely well, but they do know who she is. She's come to our place for parties and family dinners and they've played with her at my brother-in-law's house. Tomorrow, we'll go to see her for the last time.

What's the best way of explaining what's going on to Jared and Sara? The subject of death has come up before, but I'd like to avoid it becoming an on-going topic or, even worse, an obsession. We don't believe in heaven or any sort of an afterlife, so the whole "gone to a better place" line won't work. We're going to visit the bookstore on the way, but if anyone has any suggestions for books that address this issue, I'd love to hear about them.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.