Death. How in the world does one explain death? To a three-year-old?? Up until a couple of weeks ago, I just avoided the topic. If we found something dead, like a bug, I would tell Eden, “The bug is sleeping.”
But a couple of weeks ago, something changed. Not sure what. But it occurred to me, I should be talking to Eden about death because it is a natural part of life. If she were growing up on a farm, she’d already be well-acquainted with the concept of death…chickens, pigs, cows…all raised to feed a family…all part of the cycle…life and death.
And so, the next time we saw a dead bug, I simply said, “Oh! That bug is dead.”
This, of course, led to, “What is dead?”
I did the best I could…cause really…what is dead??? Urg. “Dead means that the bug is sleeping and will never wake up.” Eh…she’s three. And I try to use my friend, Mindy’s advice…”Only answer the question asked. Don’t volunteer information.” Whew. And so, we broached the oh-so-natural part of life…death.
Funny thing. I unintentionally introduced this subject right before Easter. And Eden goes to a great Kids Day Out program. They have been learning about Jesus…and death…and a thorny crown. And so, now, when I mention something is dead or has died…like a flower…Eden asks, “Did it die on a cross?” Yep, at this point, death means a cross.
Eh. It’s a start.