Monday, December 21, 2009

What Worries a Four Year Old

My youngest, Owen, has been asking me a lot lately about dying and going to heaven. The first time he asked, about two weeks ago, I figured there must have been something said at preschool or he heard something on television that would make him ask me about this subject. I also concluded this was likely a typical age for children to begin asking questions about death. And for those children who are raised in families that believe in Heaven, they begin to question what that is all about too. Owen asked me about it again a few days later and seemed more worried about the subject. He would say, "Mommy, I don't want to die. Promise me I won't die." How can I make such a promise to my little boy? He will die one day. So I am honest with him and remind him that everyone will die one day and that we have to hope that 'one day' won't come for a very, very long time. What I did promise him, though, is that I will do everything in my power to keep him healthy and safe and protect him the best I can. He is bothered, still. Tonight while I helped him take a bath, he brought it up again. I am beginning to grow weary. How many different times and different ways can I explain to a 4 year old mind that we cannot stop the dying? Once I told him that Heaven is a wonderful place. He told me he wanted to see it but he didn't want to stay. Not a bad idea, really.

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