Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Talking about death with my 4 year old

Sometime last week, we were having our nightly prayer session with Ryan when he was about to sleep. I was suddenly overwhelmed by the fact that he has grown up so much over the last 4 years. so I said to him "Mummy thinks you are growing up too fast, I miss you so much already"

Ryan then looked at me and the following took place:

Ryan: Why mummy? Why did you say you miss me? Are you going to die?
Me: No, no, I just think that you are growing really well and that I miss you very much.
Ryan: But why do you say you miss me? Are you going to die tomorrow?
Me: No, not so soon. It will be quite a while more to go.
Ryan: But you will still die?
Me: Yes dear, one day, I will die eventually.
Ryan: But why must die?
Me: Well, that is God's design.
Ryan: Why does God want you to die?
Me: Well, everyone has to go one day.
Ryan: But I don't want that. Will I see you again?
Me: Yes dear, we will see each other in another life.
Ryan: But that is such a long time!
Me: I know dear, but it is ok.

And so the conversation went on for about 2-3 minutes. As the minutes passed by, his tears were getting more and more and closer and closer together.

My heart was going out to him as he struggles to understand why we will die one day and why God designs it in such a way. I guess death is something which we all know will happen but we never really talk about it. My 4 year old however, till today, still wonders why we cannot live on and on and on and is still asking me about it whenever he can.

You have any suggestions on how to tackle this?

1 comment:

Gina Yong said...

I have such conversations with my kids too. and sometimes it gets out of hand. So, I will firmly tell them - "look here, mommy and daddy are both young and healthy and we will take care of you. We are not going to die for a long long long time. And we must pray everyday for Jesus to protect all of us." Somehow, my firm voice and 'I am in charge tone' assures them that everything will be ok