As a public school child in the 70’s, my Valentine’s Day often ended in tears. I remember digging into my optimistically large brown paper bag in first grade to find only three envelopes, even though my mother had insisted I fill out mass-produced cards for every child in my class. “No one likes me!” I […]
I’m leaving today for my aunt’s funeral. It’ll be a quick trip to my mother’s place in Baltimore, and then back just in time for Shavuot (if I’m lucky.) I’m picking up cheesecake for the family at Trader Joe’s before I leave, just in case I’m not back for dinner.
I struggled with the decision of whether or not to take my daughters, 4 and 5, on the trip with me. They had only met my aunt a few times, but had they come, we could have stayed in Baltimore with Bubbe for Shavuot. On the other hand, had they come, they would have needed to attend the graveside funeral with me.
To me watching a coffin be lowered underground and covered with dirt is potentially terrifying – the stuff of which nightmares are made. But maybe, if they are exposed to this at an early age, they’ll integrate the experience into their world view in a natural, untroubling way. So maybe I’m making a mistake.
What do you think? When, and how much, did you tell your children about death?
May Aunt Thelma’s memory be a blessing.