Mary M. Wrye
Joy and Mike,
I am with you in all you have said. I too highlighted much of what you talked about. A few things have also come to mind for me as I have read this article – which was really good (thanks Rick).
#1 – As a Healthcare Chaplain, my dealings with folks are very limited. It is on the front edge of death, the often shock and surprise of death, the smack of reality. So my dealings with children are also brief and raw. This article and reading your feedback has helped in being very aware of what is being said to the kids and how they hear that from the very beginning. Often adults will use the “they are in a better place” or “no more suffering” language. I need to focus on how the kids are reacting to that kind of language.
#2 – The issue of heaven being a boring place or a place that isn’t safe… Can’t say as that has ever crossed my radar before but I could see how children might think heaven could be boring if they are told that heaven in a constant “worship service”. While I love my church and my pastor… I might be tempted to think that same thing when I hear that. :0) But it’s very telling if a child thinks heaven is not a safe place. That would need some more digging to find out where that comes from.
#3 – In the part where the author talks about the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center deaths – it occurred to me that children of parents who were at work when the towers were hit might process that differently that the children of the firefighters who went in on purpose. Those are two totally separate ways of processing the death of people we loved. And what about children of parents who cause death? How does that effect their worldview on death?
We all process death from so many different directions – and for kids who are trying to understand WHY their mom/dad had to die when they were trying to save someone as in the case of a first responder. I would think that would complicate things even more.