Childhood Questions on Death

Welcome to my week….. I just had a long discussion with my six year old daughter about human death, what happens to our bodies after death, what many believe happens to our essence after our bodies die and how everyone will pass through death at some point.

She had many questions.
She looked into my eyes and asked them.
She wanted to know where our aunt was now.
She wanted to know if there would be a funeral.
She wanted to know if she could go say goodbye.
She said she didn’t like it. I said I don’t either.
She held me tight and I smelled her hair.
She cried in my arms for the longest time.

This is not her first experience with death. But it is her first cognitive awareness of acute human loss.

Is there a correct way to teach another human how to grieve? How do we teach another human to process the sudden pain of loss? Is it even possible to teach it?

During my lifetime, Ive heard the words “Don’t Cry” so many times.

Over and over, DONT. CRY.

As if tears are a sign that we’ve somehow lost the battle? As if we are somehow worse off for actually letting all the pain out?

When I’m hurting I want to curl up in someone’s arms and cry too just like Maggie was curled up in mine. Despite my love affair with words, silent touch conveys far more to me than language ever can.

So I let Maggie cry.
I didn’t stop her.
I just held her.

And then…. she ceased crying.
Now she’s eating ice cream and watching Disney Channel.