Thursday, November 17, 2022

A Tricky Subject


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?


 

7 comments:

Anvilcloud said...

I know that you will do it wisely and well.

jennyfreckles said...

How sad. And yes, a tricky subject - as grandparents we have to take our cue from the parents, I think, whatever our own beliefs.

Sandra Parshall said...

If Josie had not formed a relationship with the woman who died, this may not affect her emotionally at all. In any case, I'm glad you won't lie to her about repeat things that you don't believe.

Vicki Lane said...

Josie loves going to the school library, but I doubt she had much of a relationship with the librarian in this short time. In any event, her parents have postponed the 'talk' till tonight. And it will be a topic of discussion at school tomorrow probably. And, as jennyfreckles says, I will be taking my cues from Justin and Claui.

Marcia said...

Not an easy topic to discuss with a 5 year old. Our granddaughter that age has experienced the death of a great grandparent and handled it well. She even attended the funeral.
Sorry to hear of such a tragedy for that family and the broader school community.

Barbara R. said...

Young people may need to learn how to grieve loss. I was raised in a Pollyanna culture to the extent that when my best friend died in a car accident, I just went along as if nothing had happened. That's what I thought was expected of me. I was in 7th grade by then. It was a trauma that I've since healed, but geese, the grin and bear it attitude is so cruel to one's softer emotional side of life. I'm sure you and Josie's parents will give her support to the experience of loss of an adult who may or may not have had a significant place in her life.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

You will know what to say and when. Josie is lucky to have you for a grandmother. So sorry for the school's loss and the librarian's family's loss.