Explaining Death To Children!
Images Death and Prayers – For Demonstration Purposes Only!
This week a relative lady had died due to breast cancer case. Before the funeral – all the male were gathered in one house – and the ladies in another house where the dead person lay before the funeral wash and abolution. Both the houses were in the same street and belonging to the different brothers in the family.
As I was going to the toilet nearing departure to the Masjid time – I saw these two boys watching cartoons in television – with a loud voice on! So I asked the one holding the remote ‘why did you put the television on when you know that your grandmother had just died?’
His answer shook me to pieces – he hardly 5 years old told me – no we were told our grandmother was very sick and is in hospital – and the people are now leaving to go to the hospital! The children were in the men’s house! So I asked if ‘they were allowed to watch television because the men were leaving the house now? He looked at me as if I had asked him a silly stupid question!
I can only presume that their parents were so busy with the funeral arrangements to have time to sit and discuss about the death of their grandmother to them!
Frankly speaking, this week too I had a live Oman FM Radio interview with the subject of ‘Embedding The Habit of Reading To Children’ as the subject matter! In it I had talked about families disintegrating and the children being looked by housemaids – whilst the father and the mother were all trying to make more and more money – and not taking caring and paying attention to the children as they were required to – by mentoring, coaching and ‘leading by example’. My actual words were – What is the point of having so much more money – when the family is disintegrating in front of your very eyes? See the article here! Also here and also at http://majidall.com/2014/02/05/my-oman-fm-radio-interview/
I remember when our grandfather died no one had spoken to us about all the havoc and crying and what was going on. So we were taken to a neighbour’s house and there we did not think it as outward or weird to play football – whilst they were making the body of our grandfather ready for burial. Even as a teenager we did not know what to do when our baby sister died as at three months old – she was born of poor health and hardly cried till the last one day of her death!
Parents underestimate children and what knowledge they have on death – which can shock you quite a lot! Give them due credit – especially the children now of late! They have seen birds, cats, dogs etc die – some unfortunate even in fatalistic accidents – www.bethesafedriver.com
The tendency is to cover and protect the children from a ‘morbid and scary subject’ – but the outcome and repercussions are too scary and horrendous even to imagine! What kind of future will they have with their offsprings if they are not to be made to feel and have feelings – and to be made aware of death – and that death will come to all of us one day! Only we do not know our time – and how we will die!
This is a widely covered subject in the Internet – and there are many websites in the Internet to guide us – see below – but the best book is our Holy Quran (Gospel, Torah etc) and the Islamic Hadith too – and like I said in my interview to spend ‘more quality time with the children – and in leading by example!
By Majid Al Suleimany
Various Websites – including The Holy Quran, The Hadith, Bukhari, Moslem etc –
Many books in www.amazon.com etc