Yesterday I attended my Aunties funeral and had the pleasure to be able to take my youngest two children who are both 5 years old. They had only met my aunt once when they were about 2 years old so they didn’t know who she was. We had a lovely time at the cemetery visiting my family grave and then off to the service.
So many questions the whole time we were there and even more this morning.
Are they going to open the coughing (coffin)? Why did she die? Where has the coffin gone? How did she die? Where are the photos after she died? I heard knocking? Who is she? This is so boring..sit..stand..sing..?
It was a wonderful insight into how innocent children are and the awe that they present in a new situation and how much they really want to understand and get a handle on what a funeral is all about.
It also showed me how death and dying are not discussed with children until there is an event or an exposure to it.
I am now left wondering how we as a community can present death into our conversations with children? Whose role is it to provide this information? Is it for the parents to tackle or can the school provide it as part of the curriculum? Do religious organisations still present it as part of a child’s religious teachings?
Something to ponder and think about.
Blessed be Auntie Lynne.