Friday, 26 February 2010

OK Blogoverse, I need your advice.

Things have progressed apace since I posted this. Not in a good way. Being in responsible, yet obviously funky, mama mode I explained to the children that Grandad wasn't going to get well. Princess C-W eyes started to glisten but d/boy was in complete 'ready to go to school NOW' mode and just nodded when I asked if he understood.

When discussing it with Giovanna she raised a point that had not occurred to me. Once the inevitable happens we will have to face the questions about what happens afterwards. I was a little bit gobsmacked because I was so caught up in the immediate situation that addressing the 'after' was something I had given little thought too and none whatsoever as to what my children might think.

Due to life circumstances I have done a lot of thinking about what happens when it all finishes. And at some point in the very near future I have to explain that to and discuss that with my children. After much consideration I have become enamoured of the Terry Pratchett 'DiscWorld' theory of The Afterlife. It is what we have believed it will be during our life.

What do y'all think?


  1. Go ahead dear Trashie ..... we're here and we're listening :o).
    Joy :o)

  2. Bring it to the table dear! I've got a fresh cup of tea to help me think.

  3. Go ahead dear, we're/I'm listening - and googeling.

    This is some heavy reading...would you consider giving us/me a run-through - I am wondering how deep into it you go with kids. Or are your children already familiar?


  4. I have always believed (and am teaching my kids this) that heaven is that place in your heart that a loved one goes to when they die and stay there forever.

    Hell is not giving a damn whether that person is alive or dead.

  5. I think the idea you get what you hoped for in the end is a brilliant comfort. I wonder if the idea that the body is all finished with now is the main message and the bit inside is 'free'. I was told I could still chat to my Granfer and at 11 I did for a long while, it was a good thing. Whatever you say will be the right thing because you know your children best and they know you! xx

  6. The Bible simply says that " the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all". That means grandad will not have any more sickness or pain. The can be happy for that and still treasure all there lovely memories about him. He will always haave a special place in their hearts. My daughter loves her grandmother simply because it is family tradition to love her even though she doesn't remember her. Not sure how old your littlies are but give extra attention to 3 and 4 year olds to let them know that no one else is suddenly going to disappear from their lives just because Grandad did. I have seen a couple in this age group being severely affected because they couldnt voice their feelings and seemed to display none. All the best at a difficult time. Cherrie

  7. I have no idea what happens next. If anything. I don't believe in Heaven and Hell, I think that's pretty much where we are now. I have told the oldest monkey (same age as the princess) that I truly don't know, and as I don't know anyone else that really knows because once you're gone, you don't come back, that this life is what matters, and this is what makes us happy, or sad and who we are. So live it like there isn't anything else, and if there is - well, how great will that be?

  8. Oh crumbs Trashy! I don't know really. We've never really discussed it in detail with the children - other than that whoever has died is in heaven and is no longer suffering any pain. The children have only lost my Granny so far and they were a lot younger so it wasn't necessary to explain too much at the time. Hmmm, you've got me thinking now. But I am sure that however you explain it will be best for D-Boy and Princess C-W.

    lots of love and hugs, Locket xxx

  9. its certainly a tricky one - i feel that as i dont know what happens when someone dies, as long as they are in your heart and you have the memories they will be with you forever if not in body then in spirit. I'm sure you will find the right words at the time.


  10. I think that none of us really know but we will always hold those we have loved in our hearts. They live on through us. Sending hugs. X

  11. I was only thinking of him yesterday and wondering what was happening. Thoughts are with you and Sylv.

    When my father in law died, my youngest was 8. I said that Taid was very poorly and that this time the doctors wouldn't be able to make him better. Neither of my boys came to the funeral but we travelled up to the grave a few weeks later. They planted daffodil bulbs and took comfort in that. We just explained that Taid was in Heaven and he was far happier now. Whether or not they believed us, I don't know. We had the tricky questions and tried to answer them as honestly as we could, but ultimately it was a case of 'I really don't know'.

    Children are resilient creatures.

  12. I don't know if it's because my dad died when No.1 was only 3 or not, but we have discussed this subject quite a lot over the years. I have always said that what happens after death is something nobody but the dead know, but that we can all have thoughts, ideas and feelings on the matter. We discussed how people around the world from different 'faiths' view it. That sounds terribly cerebral, and you should know I'm not a very cerebral being.

    After having discussed it quite a bit, No.1 seems happy with the 'heaven' idea - ie. another place, where those who have died are 'waiting' and from where they can be with us if we or they want that. No.2 has fully embraced reincarnation as his belief and seems so sure of it; it's very touching.

    I guess what I believe is that 'religion' or 'faith' is a personal thing, and so is the matter of death and how we feel about it.

    I'm really sorry to hear that 'Grandad' won't be getting better. Thinking of you, Princess C-W, D-boy and Sylv ... and the rest of your families.


  13. Definitely a tricky one to deal with, but there's no rights or wrongs here so I just hope you find the way that feels right for you. Thinking of you Trashy x

  14. oof! well, having done a *bit* of this with a friend's kids and the nieces...for some reason small children like to ask *ME* the big questions, probably they sense i'm a rookie!

    (& of course all of their parents have strong judeo-christian beliefs whereas i'm kind of "unaffilliated"!)

    what i've said is, "well, nana and mommy believe that when you die your soul goes to heaven where god and jesus live, and you're reunited with all of your family and friends who have died. that's what most christians believe, and i think that sounds REALLY nice, i'd like to see grandad bill again someday, and carter, wouldn't you?" which gives a very nice comforting mainstream belief if they are looking for re-assurance.

    if there are further questions, i kind of move on to some *OTHER* theories that various religions believe (reincarnation, etc) again in a sort of educational overview kind of way.

    if i am pressed as to what *I* believe, i usually say something like, "well, i really don't KNOW what happens, but i do know that after someone dies they're not sick any more, and they'll never be afraid or in pain again. and even though we won't see them any more, they'll never really be GONE because we'll always think about them and remember how much we loved them"

    so basically: i think it's vital never to *LIE* b/c kids just KNOW don't they? i try not to give more info than they're asking for at the moment, b/c that might be all they can process. (at the same time, i try to see what they're actually WORRIED AABOUT & address it.) i could never "diss" any religion b/c that might be something they believe in and find helpful and comforting someday. but i think it's good for kids to know there are a number of different religions out there, and we owe respect to everyone's beliefs.

    at all costs i would avoid ANY COMPARISON to sleep because i *swear* that's a big part of my insomnia...stemming from the death of a distant relative died when i was about 5 or so! i'd also be MAJORLY careful to distinguish between having a fatal DISEASE and the kinnd of "normal" sickness that your children might get; though your kids are probably old enough to understand that the next time they get a cold they're not going to die.

    as for the pratchett theory, i LOVE that one and i think it sort of does everything i've gone all round the houses to explain: includes and comforts EVERYONE without being dogmatic or pretending to know it all!

    btw, have i mentioned that you ARE in fact an amazingly responsible yet funky mama, AND a lovely daughter/step-daughter?! i honestly think that having raised your kids the way you have so far, they will always know they can ask you anything, and you will always KEEP TALKING and LISTENING to them until they feel ok about whatever the issue is, so SERIOUSLY i cannot imagine you are ever going to go too far wrong!!! ♥♥♥

  15. Wow, I love what Mary said.

    Um, my preferred method of dealing with afterlife questions is to give them a few theories. ie some people believe that there is a place called heaven where just your soul goes, some people believe it just all ends but that your memory stays around, some people believe in ghosts but NO-ONE REALLY KNOWS. I did the same thing when the God questions came up. It seemed to satisy them but then we were just talking theoretically and there was no beloved person involved which might make a difference?

  16. Tough one. And I'm in the same boat: recovering Catholic with Grandad not going to get any better (though I saw your latest post and offer my condolences.)

    As a born-again atheist, we talk about what others believe, and what I believe (that it's just like before you were born, that non-being-molecules-back-in-the-universe kinda state) while stressing reality, that just because you want something to be true doesn't make it true, and the fact that no one knows.

    I heard an interesting idea on WNYC's Radiolab show about death, that there are three kinds of death: 1) When your body ceases to function; 2) When your physical remains are gone; and 3) When people no longer remember you or speak your name. So effectively, they can still be alive in your mind and hearts. I like that.

    A dual citizen American-Aussie currently stuck in the States (with her own collection of OZ and NZ inspired swear words), coming over from The Women's Colony, pleased to "meet" you.