“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Children innately believe this life is eternal and as parents, we protect their innocence as long as possible. But, eventually, death interrupts this life and begs an explanation. While death isn’t a particularly “happy” topic, in light of recent tragedies, I felt it needed addressing.
If we’re fortunate, death makes its first appearance through an innocent lady bug or sundried night crawler before it takes our family pet or visits our beloved family member. But, no matter the circumstance or our age, death is always difficult and painful. For our children who think concretely, it can prove traumatic unless we take care to explain it honestly, clearly, and kindly and offer them tools to cope with their emotions.
How do we explain death? Death is concrete and our bodies, also physical and concrete, will cease working. The experts* suggest, “Honesty is the best policy,” with children. If we define death clearly and kindly we eliminate confusion. As Christian parents or grandparents, we also hold the hope of the Resurrection and eternal life. For the youngest, explaining this can prove complicated, but a kind pastor recently explained it like this:
(Please join me for the rest of the story at Christian Children's Authors blog)