Death. A hard one to deal with with kids of any age if you can’t offer them Faith.
My Sensitive Soul has real trouble processing this one. Every time he has a hormone blast out it trots again and I have no easy answers for him. Each time it rears its head I struggle. I just want to give him an answer and send him on his way happy. But I can’t.
It is so painful watching him tussle with this gigantic question; ‘I know in my head Mum that it’s all fine and that there’s nothing to worry about but my body doesn’t seem to understand.’ This time he is 12 and it is, for him, a much bigger issue. Without offering him Faith to deal with it I am acutely aware that he is probably having to find his own way of processing it at an earlier age than he would have done if we had been members of a religious community.
We have talked at length about death because he has always been a questioning child. I offered him heaven and he rejected it, I offered him Dumbledore’s ‘It’s just the next big adventure’ and he looked at me as if I was mad (‘Honestly Mum, he’s not REAL you know’…he is to me!) and I have told him that nobody has an answer for him but that we all have to live life to the full and enjoy every last minute of it. He is a boy filled with joy and he will pick himself up and carry on but there will be tears and sleepless nights until something else pops into his head and nudges this fear out of there.
In the end, I think we all get by by pretending this big question isn’t lurking over there in our peripheral vision, by distracting ourselves with the pleasures of life. When he comes home this evening I will feed him with his favourite foods because that is what I do whenever they are troubled or hurt. I will show him the beauty in our garden and hug him until he pushes me away. His siblings will distract him with arguments and games and we will all get on with living and loving.
I just wish there were straightforward answers to life’s big questions and that all the battling with them that I did as a child and a teen meant that my own children didn’t have to.