• Tue. Dec 5th, 2023

Qingming Festival custom, this is how you should talk about death with your children!

When your child says to you: \”Mom, I don\’t want you to die, I don\’t want dad to die, and I don\’t want to die either…\” How will you answer him? When my daughter was more than three years old, her grandmother bought her a little duck. She was very happy. But the duck was not raised well and died after less than two weeks. The daughter didn\’t know what was happening, but she felt something. Picture book | Picture book \”Grandpa Became a Ghost\” I told her that the duck was dead. I didn\’t even explain the meaning of \”dead\”, and my daughter couldn\’t stop crying. She was sad and I held her. \”I don\’t want the duck to die…\” the daughter cried. \”Yes, none of us want the duck to die,\” I responded. \”But why did it die?\” the daughter continued to ask. \”I think it has completed its life course.\” I replied. \”What should I do if I miss the little duck?\” the daughter asked again. \”Do you still remember the photos your dad took with your mobile phone? When you think about it, you can look at its photos, and you can also think about its appearance in your heart, and think about the time you played together. When you think about it, it will come out of you.”… Over the next two months, my daughter almost always asked us the same question. \”Dad, what if you die?\” I would tell her that we already live in your heart, and I will come out in your heart when you miss me. She would also ask: \”If I die, will you be sad?\” I answered her: \”I will be sad.\” \”Why?\” \”Because we love you very much!\” Later, she would occasionally ask We have the same problem. While walking, while eating, anytime she suddenly wanted to ask. I still replied to her in the same way. We discussed the topic of life and death very calmly. When I was young, there was a joke. At that time, the family was chatting about which method of bank deposits had a higher interest rate, whether it was a demand deposit or… I listened with my ears pricked up and thought it was strange. What is a demand deposit? So I asked a question: \”Is there a time when you will die after saving money?\” The adults present laughed, and my aunt said a few words quickly next to her, \”Children\’s words are unbridled, children\’s words are unbridled… .\” This incident has always left a deep impression on me. Apart from being funny, I also got to know the idiom \”Tong Yan Wu Ji\”. Why did my aunt say that she was innocent? What does Tongyanwuji mean? Later I learned that adults are very taboo about talking about unlucky topics, especially those related to the word \”death\”. Adults are taboo about talking about this topic, or even anything related to it. Taboos are often accompanied by fear. However, children’s understanding of ‘death’ may sometimes be different from adults’. I heard a friend share that her child learned a mantra in kindergarten, \”Oh, I\’m going to die.\” One day, the child accidentally said something at home, and the old man got angry and pointed at the child and scolded him for talking nonsense. The child was frightened, and the friend didn’t know how to explain it to the child. Another netizen shared that his child learned origami in kindergarten and folded a few small flowers at home. After folding, the child was very happy and had a sense of accomplishment.I want to share this happiness with everyone. The child hung the folded paper flowers on his chest and hung them for his mother. When he saw his grandma coming out of the kitchen, the child ran over and wanted to give one to her grandma. As a result, grandma picked it up and threw it away: \”Can you wear this? The paper is for dead people.\” This is how our fear of death is inadvertently passed on to our children. Children don’t know what ‘death’ is. However, children will feel fear in the eyes and tone of adults. Children will feel the fear conveyed behind this word. Bai Yansong said: Chinese people are like primary school students when discussing death, because China has never had real death education. Death is just the last step in the end of life, and we give it an unspeakable horror. Sometimes, when a child talks about death, she may be thinking about something more important than death and something that scares her more. We adults often have answers like this: \”Don\’t look, don\’t worry about children so much\”; \”He is asleep\”; \”He is going somewhere far away\”… What happened? Will he wake up? Where is he going? Did he ignore me? Adults\’ prevarication, avoidance, or unrealistic and random answers will only deepen the child\’s confusion and fear. Especially for young children, parents (nurturers) are the child’s world. What if this world ‘dies’? unimaginable. Therefore, when children talk about death, they are probably talking about whether the love they need is still there. Children will ask when a relative at home dies; children will ask when a pet cat or dog dies; even during the Qingming Festival, when worshiping ancestors and attending funerals, children will ask. what\’s going on? Where is grandpa going? Why won\’t my little duck leave? Dad, what if I (you) die? As a parent, when your children talk to you about life and death, your attitude is more important than the content of your conversation. If we ourselves are taboo and afraid to talk about this topic, then no matter how we respond or guide our children, the children will feel the anxiety and fear transmitted by adults. The calm and calm attitude of adults can allow children to embrace the unbearable emotional experience. After repeated repetitions, children can learn from adults the attitude and way of dealing with death. There has been a time when my children have been asking me questions about death: When do we die? How will you die? …Every time I tell her: \”Yes, we will all die, and we will all die one day. However, I don\’t know when it will be, and I don\’t know how I will die. But I know that no matter I Whether alive or dead, we love you.\” My daughter often plays this question and answer game with me. Every time I answer her, she will respond to me with what I told her: \”It doesn\’t matter, if you die, I will Let you live in my heart.\” The picture book \”Dancing\” also depicts such a story. A girl who has loved dancing since she was a child. On the stage from childhood to adulthood, her father has been watching her silently and smiling from behind and applauding her happily.. The daughter gradually grew up, got married, and had her own family. My father\’s face was sparkling with tears, but he was still full of smiles. Many years later, when the father became old and sick, the daughter came back to visit her father and dance for him. However, my father’s life is about to end. The daughter whispered in her father\’s ear: \”Over the years, I have danced for many people in many places, but in my heart, every dance is for you. If I lose you, I don\’t know how to dance again.\” Can you dance again…\” Dad shook his head and said, \”You must keep dancing. Although you can\’t see me, no matter where you dance, I will always look at you.\” Because no matter where my father is, love , will always be in my daughter’s heart. Death can take away life, but it cannot take away your traces in my heart, nor our love. Life and death are both part of life. If we adults can realize that death is just a part of life, children will also think that death is a natural thing. If we can let go of the fear of death, our children will learn from us a love of life. Rabindranath Tagore said that life is as brilliant as summer flowers and death is as quiet and beautiful as autumn leaves. Death is just the end of life, the last step of life. Death will inevitably bring separation, loss, sadness and sorrow. We not only need to tell our children this, but also guide them to face the reality of loss and the sadness of separation. We are afraid of separation because we are afraid that love will disappear due to separation. However, love can still live from the heart. If we live in each other\’s hearts, death is not separation. Death ends life, not the love between us.

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