I never used phrases like - they're asleep, they went away or they are in heaven. As comforting as that may be at the time, it's fiction and for a child under about 8, can be extraordinarily bad because they take things literally.
When I was under 8, those were the explanations I got. As I got older, I reasoned that heaven is probably just a myth construed to make people feel better. I realized that once you or someone is dead, it's final, there's no sort of afterlife. Once I realized that, initially I felt depressed at the finality of death and I also felt upset that as I young child I was lied to.
5w6 or 9w1 sp/so/sx, I think
i suppose this explanation thing is culture based.
when i were 8 and a family member of mine died, i only saw it as obvious when the house were full of flowers and one was missing.
maybe this is the difference between self learners (Ti's) and learn from others (Te's)?
as ive noticed, many Te's seem to have a rough road on finding the truth as they trust others knowledge too much, which in our era is very flawed.
Ofc they wont understand if it havent been explained to them properly.
Personally i dont even remember when i understood the concept of death, i know i did already when i was 3 or 4 for sure, because thats when my uncles cat killed an squirrel and we burried it with my mom. But most likely figured it out earlier, i dont remember ever asking about it. Most likely figured out it from something like me ripping leaves from some plant when i couldnt understand things yet and mom told me that its going to die if i do it or something..
"Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
— C.G. Jung
the way my teacher explained to me when i was 6: "life is a cycle. you are born, you grow up, you make a family, you have children, you grow old, you die. your children will continue this cycle. all nature has this cycle. you cannot escape it. isn't it beautiful?" it was more or less like that. it was also the best explanation I've had thus far.
i think this is very beautiful, you handled it greatly
Originally Posted by ceecee
I never used phrases like - they're asleep, they went away or they are in heaven. As comforting as that may be at the time, it's fiction and for a child under about 8, can be extraordinarily bad because they take things literally. My grandmother died when my boys were 4 and 8. I told them that she was old (she was), that she had been sick (true) and that her body simply stopped working because of those two things. It was ok to be sad or cry or miss her but dying was part of life. Funerals were for living people to say goodbye to people that they love and to be with others that felt the same way and everyone handles that differently. There were a couple of violent, young deaths they had to deal with as teenagers and I think this probably showed them the finality and maybe was a beneficial thing for them to experience. It taught them that life is fragile and when you put yourself in situations such as these (motorcycle and car fatalities both the operators faults) death can be the end result. I just feel honesty is the best thing but also stressing that grief isn't bad and expressing it is healthy.
I've seen people tell a child worried over the concept of death "don't worry, that's a long way off." I understand why they say that, because it makes the child feel better, but the truth is that we're all equally poised towards death no matter what our age or situation. Death can come at any moment for anyone. But who wants to tell a child that "well, you too could die any moment." But it's true. I still vaguely remember my life before the concept hit me. I felt ridiculously invincible and did things that make my spine quake thinking of them now. But I also can't blame anyone for not telling me the "whole story." Balancing truth against consequences gets to the very annoying heart of morality.