For 29 years, I only had to worry how life impacted me, how it made me feel. But once I had children, my heart moved outside of my body. It’s as if it is walking around disguised as two little boys. Now, when something affects Brooks or Case, my heart aches much worse than if I was the one experiencing the sadness, pain, or hurt.
My husband’s step dad, known as “Pop” to Brooks and Case, passed away this week after a long illness. At times like this, not only do we have to work through our own feelings, but we must help little heads and hearts understand how and why things happen.
I’ve read that until children are around six-years old, they are very concrete, literal thinkers. They do not understand euphemisms or metaphors when discussing death. So, saying something like, “He’s in a better place” or “He went to sleep” only confuses children. It’s recommended to be more literal and say, “He was very sick for a long time. He got sicker and sicker and eventually his body just quit working, but we have a lot of wonderful memories that we can always think and talk about.” Knowing my own four-year old, I also plan to use prayer, art, and picture books to help him comprehend.
As we grieve ourselves and try to help our little ones understand the cycle of life, this quote lifts my spirit.
“When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” ~Kahlil Gibran