What do you do when you and your toddler come upon a funeral procession?

15 May 2017
What would it look like to talk to our kids about everything? How do we do this right from the beginning of parenthood?

Ever been driving along merrily, feeling smug that the traffic isn’t as bad as normal, and then, just in front of you, out pulls a funeral procession? This is exactly what happened to us this afternoon.

Now, I’ll be honest, my first response was immediate frustration, starting when I realised there were two people walking down the road at the front and then growing as each new car pulled out of the junction to join the procession (totalling at least 7). However, the reality was that I didn’t have to be anywhere in a hurry, my toddler was happy in the back and there was no reason for me to be frustrated. (I’m not too proud to admit that I did this processing whilst trying to find a cut through down said junction, not succeeding and having to come back out to join an even longer line of traffic!)

So, stuck in very slow moving traffic, and watching a funeral procession I decided to chat about it. Have you chatted to your toddler about death? I’m not sure how much my little guy understands when it comes to talking about a topic like this but I do know that the more I talk to him now the easier it will be to continue to be open and to chat to each other and God.

I spent a long time explaining to him about what happens when someone dies, what a funeral is, how we celebrate a person’s life, what the funerals I’ve been to have been like and how much those people would have loved to have met him. We talked about how actually when my Granny died we were happy in a funny way because she got to go to Heaven and that’s where she said she was so ready to go.

By the end of the ‘conversation’, I felt almost grateful to have been able to follow this procession of people all celebrating someone’s life and I also found myself really looking forward to when my little guy would be able to ask questions and ponder aloud with me.

Right from the start of being a mum (from pregnancy in fact) I’ve had conversations with my little boy. It’s not about him understanding everything I say, it’s not about just needing to talk when I’ve no adult company, but it’s about involving him in everything. As he grows up and starts to ponder and ask questions I want him to know that no subject is out of bounds, no question is too silly, and for it to flow out of a conversation that started right from when he started. I want him to know he can talk about everything.

What are the conversations you want to start having now so that you’re simply continuing them when your kid starts to join in?

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Acknowledgements

Hearse © Chris Owen Richards licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Cropped & Scaled