The accident yesterday that critically injured Brandi’s cousin (Quick side note: He is doing better than what many would have expected, thank you to those who have been praying) led Brandi and I to talk about the discussions we have had with our kids. Our kids are young (the oldest will be six in August) but we have always been very open and upfront with them about death and related topics. (Clearly we don’t talk about it much to the two-year old since he can’t grasp the concept). When Brandi lost her Uncle and Grandmother we were open with Kaden (the oldest) about their death, and that because they loved Jesus we would see them again some day. I think that it helped the conversations we had with him to be able to have the reassurance that this was not the last time we would see them. Kaden is a pretty smart kid (he takes after his Mama) so we saw no reason to try to hide anything from him.
I know that this is not the norm for some, for various reasons. In the conversation Brandi and I had last night we discussed why we thought some parents didn’t discuss things like this with their kids. It’s my opinion that one of the main reasons that many don’t is because they don’t have the hope that Christians do of a reunion with their family members who went on before them. Death is a terrifying thing because there is no hope.
For our family death is not the end. It’s not something to be terrified of. Understand that I’m not ready to leave my family, they mean the world to me. However I know they would be okay if something were to happen to me, chiefly because we understand that death is not the end, it’s just the vehicle that transports us to a new life, one in Heaven for eternity. This comes only from placing our hope and trust in Jesus Christ. Nothing else can provide this hope for eternity.
So what about you- how do you deal with the topic of death with your kids?