It's not so easy being a mom. It's my favorite job and sometimes the one I feel least equipped for and successful at!
This year we've had to explain death to Hannah. She knows people who have died, and although we've always been open about things with her, she's becoming old enough to think about things and ask questions.
I've always been afraid of death, and now I'm noticing that some of my fear is almost superstitious - which bothers me.
So, after thinking about it, we feel that the best way to approach Hannah with this subject is simply by being straight forward and age appropriate. I've tried to keep things light when she asks questions, because, as always, she will react however my mood appears to her. She feeds off of me and that's very difficult.
By approaching things this way, inevitably questions follow. Deep questions like, "Who has to die?" ...as she proceeds to list her (and my) loved ones and herself. "Does everyone get buried?" She relates all these questions to people she knows and loves the most and herself. She asks if the families of those who have died are still sad.
All of the questions cut me deep to the core. We were in the car the other day when she brought up the subject and began asking questions and I could feel the grip on the steering wheel tighten. I could hear the squeak of the leather under my white knuckles as I responded in the same tone I would if she asked why the sky was blue. So difficult. I don't want to think about that stuff!
But, I'm glad she's asking the questions. I'm glad she can think about things and process. I'm glad she's coming to me with her thoughts on the subject. I don't want her to be afraid of death so I want to talk openly about it. I do fear over burdening a young little girl with too much, but she'll never think it's something to be afraid of unless I instill in her that it's something to fear - which means I'm having to learn to come to grips with my own anxieties. I refuse to let my lack of faith stand in the way of connecting my daughter to Jesus Christ who brings life not death!
Family is amazing, but parenting is not all fun and games. I'm hoping to build the foundation now with my 3 year old that lets her know when she's a teenager and a grown woman that she can always come to mom with hard questions.
I just have to make sure that she doesn't know that I'm vomiting in my mouth a little each time she brings up something new! :)