Me, A Mom

3 kids and a dog

Archive for the tag “death”

TRADITION! love it or hate it…its here to stay


Ah you see tevya from fiddler dancing above.

He sang of tradition.

We have feelings about our traditions


rarely indifferent.

even young children understand tradition

even if they can’t say the word  “Tradition”

a year or so ago my grandmother was ill

and the kids

wanted to know if they were still going

to get to see the family and have grandmas stuffing at thanksgiving.


After my grandfather died

my daughter wanted to know who was going to stick their tongue out at her when she was on the risers of the Christmas show, and her ballet recital

(my mom did.)


When the boys were first diagnosed with food allergies

I agonized over how I was going to make

boatloads of cookies at Christmas like my mom used to do.

no longer would meringue(egg white cookies) be an option


no pecan fingers

no chocolate cookies dipped in frosting and nuts

no peanut cake bars

no chex mix with mixed nuts

I could go on but you get the point



we decided that guess what we’ll start our own TRADITION

so each year the kids get to each pick out a type of cookie they would be devastated  if it wasn’t on the Christmas tray and that’s what we make….only 3 or 4 types of cookies…not 15(sorry mom…. you know we love you 😉   )

and then we pick a time when everyone is home and even the reluctant teenager has to frost a few cookies or risk being frosted….


you see

TRADITION is important

it builds a sense of family

a sense of belonging

a sense of expectation

on 4th of July we go to the parade, then to grandmas for Fry out and everyone is there

and then to the fire works

if we are out visiting in-laws we have a campfire and set off our own fireworks

there are certain places we go

certain things we do that connect us

in time and space

through the stories we share

(stories are another tradition)

my grandfather used to tell a joke about a monkey and a bus accident….

There was a terrible bus accident. Unfortunately, no one survived the accident except a monkey which was on board and there were no witnesses. The police try to investigate further but they get no results. At last, they try to interrogate the monkey. The monkey seems to respond to their questions with gestures. Seeing that, they start asking the questions.The police chief asks, “What were the people doing on the bus?”The monkey shakes his head in a condemning manner and starts dancing around; meaning the people were dancing and having fun.The chief asks, “Yeah, but what else were they doing?”.The monkey uses his hand and takes it to his mouth as if holding a bottle.The chief says, “Oh! They were drinking, huh??!” The chief continues, “Okay, were they doing anything else?”The monkey nods his head and moves his mouth back and forth, meaning they were talking.The chief loses his patience, “If they were having such a great time, who was driving the stupid bus then?”The monkey cheerfully swings his arms to the sides as if grabbing a wheel.

I know…groan  right   but grandpa told it at every family gathering and every year we’d groan and laugh.

now his chair is empty so the great grand-kids are learning to tell it…though they don’t always remember it right yet.


whether its cooking, gardening, site seeing, gathering, going to church together

whether its eating, visiting the cemetery on memorial day, or lighting candles on the birthday cake

traditions are an important part of our society, our humanity


what are some of yours?

Addressing Death: And the questions children ask


is a hard topic for parents,

but one we must face

relatives die, friends die

and even if it’s the grandma of a school mate that dies

questions often come home

Your response will be key to your child’s growth and development

Do not hide death from your child

when you do

you are taking away their chance to experience the ultimate in life

Grandpa didn’t move to Florida….he died

Grandpa didn’t go to sleep(this can make them afraid to sleep) he died

If you come to terms with your grief in a healthy way …so will they.

Children inevitably have questions

my oldest for example

had questions about the different parts of the body and what happens to them when we die

my middle child had similar questions but also expressed feeling sad

and my youngest wanted to share memories of the person.

How did I (and How should you answer questions???)

Be honest, its ok for kids to hear that “I don’t really know why this happened”

Be direct (grandpa’s heart was old and weak and it stopped working) or

(there was a terrible car accident and____ was hurt very badly and died)

Ask for clarification, you don’t need to go into great detail, follow their lead

they may be ok with

      – his heart stopped working


they may want more detail

ask them to rephrase their question to make sure you are understanding what they are asking

tell them you love them

tell them God loves them

tell them they can ask you anything and you will do your best to answer or find the answer

as a catechist one thing that brings out discussion “what happens when you die” is lent and the discussion of the crucifixion, Resurrection, and ascension of Jesus

you are not alone, there are doctors, pastors, teachers, and counselors who can help you


there are resources for kids out there

here is a link to one great list I found from the national association of school psychologists

another When Somebody Dies


Talking to children about Death from the partnership for children

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