Sunday, January 1, 2012

Explaining Death To Little Ones

As you may remember, my father-in-law was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) in August of 2010. He passed away on December 2 of this year. This picture of him and Goose in their overalls was taken in September, just before his health really started to decline.

Blessedly, his death was quite peaceful. I used the concepts from the book What Happened When Grandma Died to explain things to Goose, though I didn't read the book to her because she is quite literal right now and I think she would have been confused trying to make the switch between Grandma in the book and Grandpa in our life.

It basically says that when we die, we leave three old things behind and get three new corresponding things: our body, our home, and our work. The book goes into much more detail, of course, but it provided for much discussion and an opportunity for Goose to ask many (MANY!) questions. I'll admit I had some trouble being patient answering the same thing over and over (AND OVER!), but once I realized it was her way of processing things, that helped. And it also warmed my hear to hear her explain to her 2YO cousin where Grandpa is. (in heaven, and also in our hearts)

I know that many of you have been praying for us, and I can't tell you what that means to me. I hope you have had a very blessed Christmas and I wish you all the best in 2012! (better get used to writing that now...) I'll be back in a bit with my Handmade Christmas 2011 post, which I meant to get up a long time ago, but better late than never.


KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

I am moved by your post. I lost my dear aunt to a courageous battle (5+ years) with ALS in the summer of 2010. Thank you for this wonderful reference and concepts. Wishing you a blessed 2012 and may your memories of your father-in-law always give you peace and comfort.

Zimms Zoo said...

death is hard to explain to little guys. Apparently I didn't do a good job when Lion Cub was about 4 and he couldn't understand why they brought a dead guy to the party. whoops!

I love the picture of your FIL and Goose. So sweet and what a perfect memory for her.