We received the sad news yesterday that a dear family member had passed after a physically challenging experience with multiple health issues. Fortunately or unfortunately, we have had the opportunity to explain the passing of loved ones to our children multiple times in recent years. While this is a natural course of events for all living beings, it can be difficult to find the right words to explain to children. There are a couple things I find helpful to keep in mind when rehearsing this type of conversation with kids. The first is to remember that children (depending on their ages and previous experience with this topic) do not necessarily have the same ideas and emotions surrounding death as adults do. This is not to say that they do not experience grief and loss, because they do. It is to suggest that, if given an opportunity, they can also experience the death of a loved one in a vastly different way than what we as adults have come to believe after years of religious teachings and other potentially limiting beliefs. The second is to remember that children are much more open-minded than we think. It is quite possible that your children are connecting with loving beings in another realm on a regular basis and that the passing of grandma adds one more loving being to their list of available nonphysical loving support . My clients are often faced with the tough task of holding a safe space for their children to experience and express grief/loss in addition to moving through their own concurrent stages of grief/loss. Since my work as an Intuitive Channel/medium is with the realm of nonphysical energy, I’m often asked for guidance with this challenging conversation. My clients want to know how to talk to their children about the permanency of death, about the sad reality of not seeing/hearing/touching their loved one again. Below is an outline of the words I choose when having these types of conversations with my own children. Feel free to use whatever is helpful and resonates with you.
Sometimes after living in our bodies for a long time, we start to prepare for leaving our bodies in order to free our spirit to fully return to Source/G-d/divine energy. This is called dying, but it is really only the physical body that dies because it is no longer needed. The soul and spirit of our loved one lives forever and we can continue to have a relationship with them even after their body isn’t alive anymore. When someone dies there is a lot of sadness for the people who are living because we deeply miss that person. We miss being able to see them, hug them, smell them, sit next to them, talk with them, and enjoy all the experiences we shared while they were on the earth with us. It is so important to be able to feel this sadness and allow the waves of it to move through us. There is no rush to feel like you have to stop being sad. When I feel sad, something that helps me to feel better is to know that I can still be connected to my loved one. It is as simple as continuing to speak with them and share with them. I can often feel them with me in quiet ways: when a butterfly crosses my path, when I see something magical and beautiful in nature, when I smell something that reminds me of them, when I look at photos. And, even if I’m not feeling them with me, I can invite them to join me so that I can feel their presence. To do this, I become very quiet and I say out loud (or to myself), “Grandma, will you please join me now? I’d like to spend time with you”. Then I wait a few moments and most times I can sense their presence with me. If I don’t, it’s not because they haven’t joined me but more likely that I’m just not feeling it in the way I expected. It’s something you can try and practice and we can share our experiences with each other whenever you want. Our loved one(s) never stop loving us when they die. In fact, I believe that their love grows even stronger now that their spirit and soul are free to fully surround us.