Talking to kids about death

Our three-year-old daughter has an eerie new catch phrase. She wraps her arms around me, squeezes me tightly and says, “Mommy, I love you so much. I’m never gonna let you die.”

I’m sorry, WHAT?

I have no idea where she got it. She hasn’t seen any movies about death, really, unless you count the sneaky parents-die-in-the-sinking-ship scene in Frozen. We don’t talk about death or dying. We don’t even say it in prayers.

(I even swapped the “If I die before I wake/I pray the Lord my soul to take” line for “Guide me safely through the night/And wake me with the morning light” before our oldest was a year old.)

After a few days of constantly being told my child wasn’t going to “let” me die, I finally told her to please stop saying it because it made Mommy uncomfortable. So she started telling me she’d never let me “go very, very far away … forever.” I didn’t like that one, either.

Then she tried “I’ll never let you go to Heaven,” and I had to explain that no, actually, Heaven is a really awesome place. I do want to go there, someday. (And the alternative is … not good.)

“Are there colouring books in Heaven?” she asked after a pause …

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, “The Mom Scene” …

So what do you think?

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