Thursday, October 11, 2007

In Heaven

Our friendly neighbor, who used to spoil the kids with gifts, died last night.

The kids know he is sick, but how to tell them that he is already dead? I dont really know how to start. I learned about this sad news around noon. It seemed he died around 8 pm last night, during the time when we were busy getting the kids ready for bedtime.

I wanted to call my husband to tell him the news but I dont want the kids to hear about it. I wanted to be prepare for an answer, in case they begin asking 'sensitive' questions. So I didnt tell them anything.

But tonight, as our ritual, IC and I began exchanging our preliminary bedtime routine, the 'question and answer portion'. She was asking me why I was talking to the neighbors for a long time at noon time, so I had to tell her why. I always wanted to be honest with the kids and so it goes,

Mama: 'Do you remember our neighbor who used to give you candies and gummi bears?'
IC: 'Hmm, I dont know.'
Mama: 'I'm sure you'll remember them. We used to visit them in that house.' (me pointing which house)
IC: 'Oh, yes. He is sick.'
Mama: 'Well, he is very sick. He died last night.'
IC: 'Oh, I know. He is now in heaven.'

That was that. Oh so casually said. I need not have worried! Kids are really clever, arent they?


Anonymous said...

when my father died early this year, i also didn't know how to tell my 5-yr old. we were both in the philippines at the time, and he knew his lolo was sick. during the wake, he simply and matter-of-factly asked, "oh, ist der gestorben?" and that was that. no sugar-coating, no made-up stories. it never fails to surprise me how wise children actually are.

MegaMom said...

You are so right Keng! We moms fret about so many things, but our kids beat us to it all the time. We dealt with this last year (kids were 2 1/2) when a favorite aunt died. I was so surprised that they had a concept of death and of heaven. :)

Anonymous said...

Children are sometimes wise beyond their years and are more open-minded than us adults who have hang-ups and fears and anxieties.

Good to know they accepted what happened.

Heart of Rachel said...

Sorry about your neighbor.Death is such a sensitive subject and I was also worried about how my son would understand it.

The first time I had to explain it to him was when we lost our pet. I explained about the concept of heaven. I'm glad he accepted it even though I knew he still had questions deep inside. I think he understands more about it now.

MeMeMe said...

goose bumps on my arms and back