A sad thing happened yesterday (when I'm writing this.) Justin came to pick up Josie and said there would be no school Thursday because of a death. The school's beloved librarian died Wednesday after a cardiac event a few days earlier. School is closed so that counselors can meet with the faculty to help them with their own grief and to suggest ways of talking to the students about this loss.
Josie will be with me tomorrow and I will certainly follow Justin and Claui's lead in talking with her--if that seems to be something she wants to do.
She hasn't experienced this sort of loss yet. Pets and farm animals have died, and she has accepted this, as far as I can tell, philosophically.
I have no doubt that many parents will be assuring their children that the librarian has gone to be with Jesus. This isn't an option for me--the best I can do about death is to say no one knows for sure what happens but that our memories of the person keep them alive in our hearts.
The gone to Heaven/a better place/be with Jesus is no doubt comforting--maybe telling a child this when one doesn't believe is no more harmful than encouraging a belief in Santa Claus. I don't know. As I said, I'll follow Justin and Claui's lead.
But, please, none of the 'God needed her' stuff. She had a child in fourth grade. Whose need was greater?