Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sad Thinking

So, this is sort of a public service announcement for those of you with kids who have followed our story or are friends of Thomas's.

I don’t want to alarm anyone about the short term, but I've been thinking about how Thomas's death will reverberate in my own life, and in others', when it comes.

I don’t bring this subject up lightly, believe me. But I was thinking about Thomas’s little friends and cousins, and about how many of you have written me to say that you and your young children are praying for us. And though you may not be thinking of it yet, I have been, and I wonder what we will say to these little people when the time comes.

On this week’s episode of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Mr. Rogers talked about the death of a pet with his “TV neighbors,” who are probably in the 3 – 5 age range. I noticed he did some smart things that I would not have thought of until I’d already said something unhelpful.

So, again, I don't want to worry anyone more than is necessary, but what can I say; this is really happening, and I am thinking about it.

Besides, you’re raising these compassionate, empathetic kids who are learning to care about the sick – I’m sure you’re thinking, too, about what to say to them.

So here are some websites that seem to have smart, helpful answers. I mean, you could google them yourself, I guess, but here are the ones I thought made sense*:

http://www.hospicenet.org/html/survive.html

http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Articles/deathchildren.html

http://www.hospicenet.org/html/talking.html

http://pbskids.org/rogers/parentsteachers/theme/1666_t_art.html

The main idea seems to be – find out what the kid thinks, don’t over-explain, and don’t use vague or misleading terms that might scare kids, who tend to be really literal (like, “Death is like sleeping,”).

It’s a tough conversation, and not just for kids.




*sorry these don't link. I'm having a bit of html trouble.


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9 Comments:

At 3:17 PM, Blogger sarah's_mom said...

what i want to know is how do i tell my HEART?

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger Lynn said...

Sarah,
You are so brave to be worrying about our kids at this time.
Sending you lots of hugs and prayers.

 
At 7:26 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Your are an amazing woman. God must have something special in mind for you. Prayers...

 
At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May God give you both the faith and the strenghth to get through this. My heart is breaking. Just know that we all love you.

Aunt Vivian

 
At 7:31 AM, Blogger Mr. Bic said...

As the uncle of Thomas, and the father of 3 young cousins this topic has weighed heavily on my heart for many months. We were given a book from a Child Grief Specialist that also had many strong suggestions regarding how to discuss and explain death. When I find the source, I will send to Sarah to post if she wishes.

So many times as a parent we use logic of cause and effect. In this situation there is no logic, and it just doesn't make sense.

Thank you Sarah for mentioning this...

Love,

jB

 
At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ur always thinking of others, I love u -rhondalove u.

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger Lizard said...

And there should be a site for things NOT to say to YOU....Oh the things people said to us....just painful and stupid...sorry, but people have no idea the impact their words make in those days. When we lost my sister-in-law, someone ACTUALLY said to me, "What a waste!" I had very angry feelings that anyone would suggest my sister's life had been a waste.

sorry**I'm slightly embarrassed sitting here all by myself getting worked up.**

Thomas's life is full of purpose and wonder and this experience for all has been utterly transformative...Praise be to God for Thomas's life...no matter how long...

 
At 6:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.hospicenet.org/html/survive.html

http://www.ec-online.net/Knowledge/Articles/deathchildren.html

http://www.hospicenet.org/html/talking.html

http://pbskids.org/rogers/parentsteachers/theme/1666_t_art.html

 
At 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just had to respond....You are an amazing person, to be thinking of others- whom some you may never meet, with so much going on with your family. We thank you for your kindess. You all are in my prayers with extra's for Thomas.

Take Care

 

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