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March 11, 2008


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I'm sorry to hear that. Everyone thinks they have all the answers, but when it comes to situations such as this, I'm not sure if we ever have anything that's black & white.

what do you mean by "Even Yankees taste good deep fried"? the South has run this country for 25 years.
Maybe it's time for the NORTH to secede from you
blood-thirsty war-lovin' Baptist Chickenhawks

Awww...so sad. I am glad you mom enjoyed the kindness and love that she surely deserved.

And yes, for nana and poppa and now baby Scott (and the fish), we felt (even as total unbelievers) that Heaven was a nice thing for Adam to believe in and he takes comfort that his nan and pop are up there and told us that he was glad they were taking care of the baby for us.

What can you do...you can't get all existential on a 5 year old.

Sounds to me you did just fine.

I hope your momma is holding up okay. It sucks to lose a loved one.

(Wow. Wasn't that the understatement of the year.)

I'm sorry for your loss. I hope your mother is doing okay.

Aw. Poppy Bill. I'm glad he got a chance to be a Poppy to your kids, even for a short while. I am sure you blessed him as much as he blessed you (and I don't mean that in a religious way).

I'm glad your mother got a chance to be loved.

I'm sorry for your loss.

So sorry for your loss. It sounds like he was a very special man.

We lost my husband's father and our dog within 3 months. My son, 4 at the time, took it pretty hard. Two years later I still deal with death and heaven questions. I just try to be as truthful as possible without scaring him.

Good luck with your conversations. Sounds like you're doing pretty well.

So very sorry. Heaven is very real to my kiddos even though we are not formerly religious. It just is comforting for them (and I) to think of it as a place.

So sorry, K.

We have had quite a bit of these conversations at our house over the last year. It isn't easy.


I got some great reader advice about this very thing when my cat died. (Not to compare. Ugh.)

RIP Poppy Bill. Sounds like Q was like to have known him, if only briefly.

Sorry for your loss and predicament. I too found myself in a similar state when my father died and we weren't sure how to explain to the kids where he had gone. We came across a great book called "where do Balloons go?" by Jamie Lee Curtis and though it doesn't give answers to the question, or even reference death specifically, it acknowledges the questions and for my kids at least, made it a safe subject to explore and talk about.

I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope you know that even a stranger was touched by your story today. It's obvious to me that I'm not the only one you touched. Life is precious. Please give your daughter an extra hug from me. Hugs to you too!

He sounds like a wonderful man. I am sorry for the loss.

I think death is one of the hardest things to share with children. Thankfully I haven't had to share the loss of a family member with our daughter but we have lost fish. We do us religion though and that seems to ease her mind. At first she didn't understand the concept. She just thought you die, you go to Heaven, Jesus makes you better end of story. This bothered me a little because I didn't want her thinking you come back. I thought long and hard on how to explain this.

I never came up with a good explanation but she did it on her on. She watched a movie where a gentleman dies from old age. She told me the other day she didn't want to get old and die. This is sort of a relief because she has the peace of knowing God is there but now she knows not to walk out in front of a truck because you won't come back and Momma's not ready to hand you over to God.

Sounds like you handled it with (you being a musical type) perfect pitch. So good to stay with the truth. Although when I had a miscarriage and my 3 year old asked where the baby was, I said "with God." I just didn't know what else to say.
K I had never read the story about you dad - don't know how I missed it. Knowing you, I am in awe of the strong loving person you have become; so much mitigated against it. AND the way humor is so much a part of you - again, it could so easily have been otherwise. I hope, if you can reach, that you pat yourself on the back once in a while....

When Santa brought goldfish for Christmas, I thought to myself: "Oh, good. This will help prepare him for death."

Why yes, I am Italian.

I am sorry for your loss.

May he RIP, he sounded like a great man.

Your daughter is so sweet.

Kristen, I just read your story. I'm so incredibly sorry that your "Dad" robbed you of a good father-daughter relationship. In a way, your mom's BF showed you that it's possible to be a kind, loving, gentle man, who showed the right kind of love and affection to your mom. I think in that way, he touched your life in a good way - be it ever so brief.

I think you handled the conversation just fine with Q. We are Christian, so when my grandfather died it was more of a straight line to explain to K., but you handled it well.

((HUGS)) to you.

I had never actually met him, but your mom did tell me about him. He sounded like a nice man. I wish I had been able to get to know him.

I'm so sorry. Managing the whole religion thing in the context of someone's death is so tough for children. I think you did great.

my 4year old has been asking LOTS of questions about death lately and, like you, I've found it tricky to explain. She started asking about it after our neighbor's chicken died. It is so interesting for me to watch her try and make sense of it all. She is very concrete in her understanding, saying things like:

When you're dead you're very very still?

You can't do anything when you're dead?

You can't run or jump or dance?

You can't watch television?

You just have to stay home?

That's about as far as we've gotten. She brings it up about once a day and goes through the same list of questions, just to make sure my answers haven't changed.

Sorry for your loss and good luck with the explaining :)

I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like he was a wonderful person to have in the family.

I have NO idea how we are going to handle the topic when it comes time. DH will not want any sort of religious connections, but I have a hard time with that. I guess we're going to come up with something on the fly, just like everyone else!

We faced this when Douglas was four when my MIL passed away. We visited her the weekend before she died, so he knew how sick she was, and like Q, he grasped it much easier than I thought he would. He also grasped that the health reason was that she smoked all her life and her lungs were failing her. From then on, he has been violently anti-smoking.

So very hard indeed. My prayers are with your family as you miss this wonderful man.

It is tough to explain. I still stammer when the kids ask about my mom.

My condolences.

I'm sorry, Kristen -- it's tough on so many levels. It does sound like you found the right words for Q.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Sounds like your mom met a terrific man. I'm glad they had some time together.

I really have no advice on how to deal with death and children as we're no where near that stage (hopefully).

It is hard to explain - and not just to the little ones. I am sorry for your mom and your family, too.

so sorry for your family's loss. i too think u handled it just right with quinlan - hugs!

Whatever brings her peace...

And you too.

I'm so sorry.

Death is a difficult concept even for adults. I think you handled the subject beautifully.

I've had some good discussions about death with my children- keeping religion out of it. I talk about "lifetimes" and his lifetime was finished. Sometimes I explain that someone's body was worn out. What comes next isn't something we can know about. We know people aren't hurting or sick anymore, but we don't know what else since we've never been dead ourselves.

It was more than the best Kristen and I'm very sorry for yours and your mom's loss.

I'm so sorry for your and your family's loss. :-(

I think your instincts are right on. We had a lot of death in our family when my kids were very small. If it helps at all, I wrangled with the subject in this essay


Granted, when my grandmother died my daughter was only 18 months, but she continues to see images of her here and there, so it still applies.

We're like you in that the heavy-handed religious stuff is something we tend to avoid, but we told her that she was in heaven. When asked about heaven, we just said it was a place where Great Grandma was with Daddy's Grandpa (she never met my grandfather) and was happy all the time and wasn't sick anymore (my grandmother was visibly ill by the end, and the images show this, so my daughter knew she was sick).

She accepted this explanation, although I suspect she thinks heaven is like say, Arkansas or something: a far off place where nobody goes unless they have to. ;)

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