fear and mortality - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-13-2005, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My almost-5-year-old DD has many questions about "the spirit world". She knows that her uncle and grandpas are there. She knows that some friends and dogs are there. Last night she woke up in the middle of the night, afraid that her spirit would go there.

She is realizing her mortality at a very young age (in my eyes). As an unschooler, I want to address the questions that naturally come up, but I want to make sure that the answers are developmentally appropriate as well as not offering too much information.

Of course I've offered comfort. When that doesn't work at 4 am, I offer redirected thinking (telling her about my happy dream about a birthday party and inviting her to join me when she falls back asleep).

I'm looking for simple simple answers and ideas of comforting.
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#2 of 5 Old 03-13-2005, 07:56 PM
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Maybe try explaining to her that visiting the spirit world is different than dying? Well, to me anyway, for example, I would encourage that she can visit the spirit world anytime she likes when she is asleep by dreaming...she can visit her pets and her uncles and grandpa whoever, but that she will always wake up in the morning and her spirit will wake up with her in her bed...or something like that...

i guess if you make the spirit world a safe place instead of a scary one, and a place she can feel she *chooses* to visit and that she knows she will always come back from...maybe she won't be afraid of going there forever?

You can get into the way heavy issues later....

If she asks why her grampa is in the spirit world and cant come back, maybe suggest that he was ready to go there and stay there....avoiding words like *his time* because then like, she might get an idea and fear that *her time* may come soon...get me?

Maybe before she goes to bed have some light discussion about it, like you can say "what are you going to do tonight in the spirit world? (or in your dreams)...I am going to run through a field/visit grampa/eat ice cream...whatever.... and make sure you tell her you cant wait to talk to her about it in the morning when she wakes up (solidifying in her head that she WILL wake up without saying it etc)...general things like that I would try....
I dunno, it might seem silly but that is how I plan on gently handling it....
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#3 of 5 Old 03-13-2005, 08:58 PM
 
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my dd (almost 4) is going through this too, her great grandmother just died so she has questions too. ...she would cry and tell me she didnt want me to be dead, and i just told her i dont either right away because i want to be a grandma and a great grandma first then ill be ready...dh and i dont have any concrete ideas about this for ourselves but for now "being with the angels" seems to feel ok...
the other night dd told me contentedly that dad said she is a girl and will be a mum one day then a grandmum then a great grandmum then she will be an angel then a baby again...i dont have answers to this but i liked that that idea of a cycle seemed to be comforting to her.

it is an amazing thing to think about and i still wonder myself...i dont know if i fear death myself, sometimes i think i might...and of coarse the idea of dd dying is horrifying to me...so i have to somehow not think of that when we talk about death...if that makes sense?
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#4 of 5 Old 03-13-2005, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I love the idea of integrating the "spirit world" with her dreams and that she can visit whoever she wants there. So far, I've used that term to mean the place people go when they die.

I often dream of my dad and brother and I've shared those dreams with my family. I will use the words, "I visited grandpa in the spirit world in my dream last night" as a premise to sharing my dreams. Language creates our reality and using the words will definitely make the spirit world a nonthreatening place to visit. I love that!

Perfect! Thank you!
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#5 of 5 Old 03-14-2005, 01:33 AM
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No probs, glad to offer suggestions! I just thought that maybe it wouldn't be so scary if she felt she had control over it, instead of no control and that it was just going to *happen* to her...

good luck and let us know how it works out!!
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