25 October 2012

Death and a six year old

I'm not sure if I have posted about my "death talk" to my daughter. It's something that has come up in the past. I've tried to explain the circle of life to her. At the time she found that satisfying, and she liked the whole concept, and it led us to talk about birth, and evolution etc.

Then later we came back to death, and she was quite upset. She was scared that her dad and I would die when we're really really old. She was scared that She would die too.

She wanted to know from me if we can come back and be babies again after we die. I told her that different people believe different things. Some people believe we go to a happy place called Heaven, and some people believe that we come back as babies again. Inevitably she asked me what I believed and I said I don't know what happens when we die, but I don't think anything happens. We go back to how it was before we were born, and we are all stardust, and stardust never dies.

She wasn't satisfied with that answer, but we got some books. The "Born with a bang" series, and by the time we finished them she was okay. She was the universe, and the universe was talking to her, but I believe a lot of that went over her head.

Then flash to last night in bed, where out of the blue she starts crying and going on " I don't want to die, I don't want to die" Hysterically sobbing. She was in such severe emotional pain that at that point I could have converted to a religion just to give her some peace of mind around death. But of course I can't.

I don't know where I went wrong. I struggle with death myself. As someone with depression it is something I have thought about a lot. To the point of obsession at times. I don't like that there is nothing after we die. I would love to be reincarnated, or go to some holiday resort in the sky. I just can't be so naive as to think they are real.

So how do I make my daughter feel better about a subject I myself don't like so much  I mean for goodness sake, one of the reasons I stopped smoking was because I fear death so much.

So she screamed and cried, and was so very very upset. Then she asked me if Jesus will bring us back to life again, and we can live again. At that point I was ready to lie, but before I got a word in she was sobbing she doesn't want to die again, so I didn;t say anything and just held her, and told her everything is okay. She is not going to die now. Everything is fine.

Eventually she fell into exhausted sleep. I still don't know what to say though. Obviously she is hearing some upsetting and conflicting things between school and home, and it's causing her great emotional pain. How do I handle that?

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