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  #1  
July 4th, 2006, 02:30 PM
mrobinson
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Dh and I were chatting about death and attachment to life last night.. I know smt's Denial of Death is about human's denial of the possiblity of no afterlife. I know so many people that seem to deny themselves the full cycle of life and death as they never seem to have a form of acceptance of life and death.. So much pain is the result. Religion contributes to this, IMHO.

So I wanted to ask you from a religious perspective, how to do teach your children (and yourselves) about death? If you focus on the happy Heaven part, what do you do to allow yourself or your child the full cycle? Do you let them be mad at God? Do you answer their questions like "why did God do this?" Have you spoke about death before it happens? Do your children know they will have to bury their parents? When do you approach the subject with them?

(I wanted to add that I think talking about death can enhance your child's or even your perspective on life.)
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  #2  
July 6th, 2006, 12:31 PM
mrobinson
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No takers eh?
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  #3  
July 6th, 2006, 01:00 PM
oicyur's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Utah
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I think discussing death is very important. I don't believe that death is the end. I believe that it is only the next step and there is much more to be done after we die. Our time on this earth is momentary in comparison and death isn't a "goodbye", it's a "c-ya later". Talking about death and preparing your kids for the death of loved ones makes things so much easier when they have to face it. My best friend growing up had a bad case of Cystic Fibrosis. Drs didn't think she'd make it past 1 yrs old, but she did. She stunned Dr's again when she turned 4 and continued to stun them until she died when she was 13yrs old. We were friends since I was 3 and I lived through those years that the Dr's predicted she would die soon. My mom would tell me about it and remind me that when she dies she will be free from her sick body and will rejoice. I knew what was coming and when my mom would talk to me I would cry. When she finally died I mourned, but because I was prepared for her death it didn't traumatize me and I actually became a stronger and better person.

Christ mourned when he lost his good friend, Lazarus, so it's good for us to mourn, but knowing that people are in a better state once they've died is comforting and helps us move on when we're ready.

I will talk to my kids about death and make it an open subject in my home. They will know that death is not the end, but just a continuation of life. They will know that we were alive before we came to this earth and will continue to be alive after we leave this earth. By understanding why we're here on earth and what the purpose of life is I believe they won't ask God why and be angry. They will understand why and be at peace. I believe this because that is how I was taught and that is how I reacted. Death wasn't scary. It was just a part of life... a happy peaceful part.
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  #6  
July 25th, 2006, 08:51 AM
Mom2DavidandAaron's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Mexico City
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Quote:
So I wanted to ask you from a religious perspective, how to do teach your children (and yourselves) about death? If you focus on the happy Heaven part, what do you do to allow yourself or your child the full cycle? Do you let them be mad at God? Do you answer their questions like "why did God do this?" Have you spoke about death before it happens? Do your children know they will have to bury their parents? When do you approach the subject with them?

(I wanted to add that I think talking about death can enhance your child's or even your perspective on life.)[/b]
Well, my children are still young to talk about the subject, but my grandfather is very sick and we know it's just a matter of time now. My 8 year old nephew is very attached to him and is having a hard time. My brother and sil aren't very religious, but dh and I are so they asked me to talk to my nephew about the Jewish view on death. It helped him a lot.
Judaism accepts death as part of life, but not as the end of it. At least not for our immortal part, which is our soul. Our bodies are the instrument we need to make the material world spiritual by watching what we eat, how we dress, how we talk, etc. In Judaism every mundane, every day action can become spiritual, i.e, by saying the appropiate blessing before drinking water you turn that simple action into something meaningful. Those things feed our souls without denying the body the material pleasures it craves. Judaism doesn't deny the body and the pleasures it gets from material things, but it says that no amount of physical pleasure can compare with the spiritual pleasure we have by feeding our souls.
That would be "Heaven" in Judaism- getting the spiritual rewards you deserve. However, Judaism has no hell. We come to this world to learn and grow and achieve certain goals. But it's not a one-strike-and-you're-out thing. We believe in reincarnation. Although not unlimited, a soul has several chances to do this.
My nephew isn't really angry at G-d (not that there's anything wrong with it), but he does ask why. I don't think we can know why. I asked my nephew if he thought my 2 month old can understand why a needle was stuck in his tush. Obviously he can't, he felt the pain and he doesn't know why he has to go through that. And it hurt me so much that he was in pain, but I, as a parent did it because I know vaccinations are important. But no one will expect me to explain my 2 month old about diseases and vaccines because he doesn't yet have the capacity to understand that. If G-d himself came down right now and explained to us why He does some of the things He does, we would have the same expression my 2 month old would have if I tried to explain the shot to him. We simply don't have the capacity to understand. That's how I view our relationship with G-d, in terms of parent and child. Our view is very limited by time and space, we can only catch a glimpse of what the world is about. With that limited view we cannot possibly understand some of the things he does. But, just as a parent, we have to trust that it's for the best, even if it momentarily hurts. Pain is a part of life and I plan to teach my children that pain has a purpose. We may not know it, but it's not a random thing, it's there to teach us something.
My nephew seemed more at peace after hearing all this. He now knows that when my grandfather dies, it's because it was his turn to do so and his purpose in this world was achieved. What's gone is his body, but his soul continues either here or in the World to Come, but he'll be OK.

Sharon
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  #7  
July 25th, 2006, 09:57 AM
mrobinson
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Sharon.. That's an amazing post. I love the message you conveyed to your newphew.. I think it's a credit to your religion... I have hope this will no doubt help the grieving process.



I'm sorry about the impeding time coming to your grandfather.. please know you are in my thoughts..
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  #8  
July 25th, 2006, 12:21 PM
Mom2DavidandAaron's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Mexico City
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Quote:
Sharon.. That's an amazing post. I love the message you conveyed to your newphew.. I think it's a credit to your religion... I have hope this will no doubt help the grieving process.



I'm sorry about the impeding time coming to your grandfather.. please know you are in my thoughts..[/b]
Thanks! I actually went on sunday to say goodbye. Religion does help a lot. I know there are many people who think it's dellusional to think this way and that without proof it's ridiculous to just believe something. But I wouldn't trade the peace of mind I get for anything.

Sharon
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