You raise a good point about well meaning parents who insist on children seeing the loved one at minimum or encouraging them to “kiss grandma goodbye” as you put it. It is easy to think as adults or parents we know best, but if the child is clearly showing resistance to going in the room – not wanting to “kiss grandma” etc. then we need to listen to them. I am coming to learn that children are very smart and know what they need/want in that moment. It is the same on the other side – wanting to keep them from the room when they are insistent that they want to be there. I think as chaplains this is where we can be very helpful as facilitators in the moment of crisis.
Thank you for your reflections on the tree piece. I had not even made the connection to how that may not translate to city kids who have very little exposure to trees/nature.