Story # 204 And My Children's Children.

Back in February 2011, my granddaughter's friend's little three year old daughter (Kara Lee) died of pneumonia. It started out as the flu and developed into pneumonia. and the child just wasn't strong enough to fight it off.

Kara Lee and my four year old great granddaughter had been friends since Kara Lee was one and Lizzie was two. They had a play date at least twice a week for two years. Kara Lee died on a Saturday, and was buried on the following Thursday.

On Monday, I was babysitting Lizzie while her Mommy was at work and she asked me if I knew that Kara Lee had died. This is the conversation that followed.

Lizzie; Nana, did you know that my friend Kara Lee died?
Nana; Yes, I did know that Lizzie, and I am sorry that you lost your friend.
Lizzie; Oh no, I didn't lose her, Nana; she died.
Nana; Oh, I see, so I guess Kara Lee is in heaven with your Daddy now, isn't she? (me hoping I could make Lizzie feel better.)
Lizzie; No, Nana!! My Daddy is in heaven. Kara Lee is in a little white box with flowers on it and the box is in the ground. Heaven is in the sky, the box is in the ground. See???
Nana: Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize.
Lizzie. Don't worry Nana, it's okay. You'll learn.

Serenitree Serenitree
70+, F
4 Responses Oct 1, 2011

Awwww, I LOVE your attitude about all this. You totally accept that little girl and I'll just bet everybody else for who they are in the moment..... That ROCKS. The stories with your, kids, grand and gg-kids ALL are soo sweet!

Thank Sierra. I do accept people for who they are. Lizzie is very easy to accept. She is so earnest about things. Serious and thoughtful. Also a great play mate. She even tries to let me win when we play games that she makes up out of her head. If it seems I'm not winning, she will change the rules because *I don't want you to be sad Nana, we can play different and you can win* I'm not like her. I never let a kid win any game. I just keep teaching them until they win for real. Their victory is so much sweeter that way. Her big brother, when he was 8 years, was getting frustrated because he kept losing against me. He said it wasn't fair. I told him we could stop playing. He said no, but he wanted me to let him win sometimes. I told him that he wouldn't be winning if I did that he would still be losing. So I just teaching him better strategies for playing. When he finally won a game, he asked me if I let him. I asked him if I had ever let him before. His eyes lit up and he asked me *You mean I'm really smarter than you now?* I said lets play again and see. I won a few more games, but he began to get better and better and now when I win, he smiles and says, *I didn't let you win Nana, you did that all by yourself.* Gotta love kids.

very cute, I will remember that one.

very interesting. I'm wondering if you could find a book about explaining death to a child? I don't know what you believe as far as religion goes, but if you believe in God and Jesus at the cross as I do, I think I would sit her down and explain how our good thoughts and our minds never die. It is called a soul. I would teach her the song "Jesus Loves Me" and subsitute it too Jesus loves Lizzie and that Jesus loves her friend Kara Lee. I would explain that when you die, your mind goes on and that is where heaven is. I would explain that Kara is in heaven. To me, she sounds confident, but not really understanding the concept of death. Now is the perfect age to develop her faith in God and to understand death. Believe me, if you can help her with this now, you can really restore her faith in Jesus. Maybe say a prayer saying: Dear Lord, We come to you to pray for our friend. We thank you for keeping Kara safe with you in heaven. Watch over her family and us. Amen. To me, she doesn't think she lost her, because she knows she's in a box. She doesn't understand what it means to loose someone through death. It is sad to hear that she lost her daddy too. She understands that her dad is heaven, maybe because, she never saw the box or doesn't remember the box for her dad. I would explain that when someone dies, their bodies go into a box and their bodies are empty. What if you took a bananna and you tell them to pretend that this is a person. And they live their life, but when they die Good takes the good out of us. Then peel the banana and pretend your God and hold the banana like a baby. and put the peel in a box and say: We can bury the body of the banana, but I will keep the best part of it with me. That is how God loves us. He will keep the best part of who we are with him. I don't know the answers. Just putting my 5 cents in. Hugs!

Her dad was killed before she was born. I am not responsible for her religious education, her mother is. The thing I feel is most important for kids is to not euphemisms but to tell it straight. When Kara Lee first died, they told Lizzie that they had lost her. Lizzie wanted to go to Kara Lee's house and help them ;look for her because she knew all of her favourite hiding places. I will never try to explain God to her. Instead, I buy Max Lucado's books and read them to her and then discuss the stories. This child understands death, as well as a 4 year old child should. You will like this, though. I know a 7 year old who was trying to explain the soul to a friend of hers. She said it is like a donut hole.You can eat the whole thing, but you will still have the donut hole. It will always be there even if you can't see it.

That is so sweet :)

Thanks, Tas. YES, it is sweet. She was so patient, explaining death to me.