A 3 yr old Understanding of Death

Recently a close family friend died... so of course we had to talk about it with E.

Before she died E colored her a picture when she was in the hospital. The day she died we told E that Mrs. Viola was really sick. Her response:

E - Well I will have to color her alot more pictures and use my special markers.

The later that night we told E that she had died and that we were all really sad about it.

E - Well Jesus died for all our sins.

She preceded to sing Christ is Risen from the dead...

We are saying special prayers for Mrs Viola every night so E is really into it and tells us every night that "We need to do our special prayers for Mrs Viola." Try singing the following with your 3 yr old who knows the words

"Blessed repose and Eternal Memory" - let me tell you it is SUPER intense.

We were talking about going to the visitation and funeral with E... We believe that it is important to teach our kids about life and part of life is death. The visitation was the same night as preschool open house (yes our preschool lets/allows/encourages parents to bring kids?!?!?!) Anyhow, we told E she needed to be having good behavior and not be loud. Somehow during this conversation...

E - Well when are we going to get a new Mrs. Viola
Me - There's only one Mrs. Viola
E - Well where'd she go?
Papa - To God 

INTENSE I TELL YOU!!!

Anyways, we made it through the visitation - for all of 10 minutes - without any major outbursts.

On the way to the funeral (R stayed at home with a sitter) I told E that there would be lots of sad people and feeling sad was normal and it was okay if she felt sad too. I again reiterated the need for good behavior and that we would talk to Jibbe and Papa AFTER the funeral. We got situated in our seat and then I realized I forgot tissues - way to go - and we did not make a potty pitstop so we hurried to the bathroom - good call. Made it back barely... Paper towels are no tissues and are a bit louder - as I learned.

E did great during the funeral. She was confused as to why we could not sing the words of the songs (no one was singing and there was no music). She saw me and other wipe our eyes so she had to grab the papertowel to wipe the 'water' from her eyes. It was cute. She was generally unfazed by the experience. Same at the cemetery - E wanted to know when Mrs Viola would be put in the tomb (during Holy Week and Pascha alot of the hymns we sing have to do with laying Jesus in a new tomb and 'to those in the tombs, He granted life'). It is really interesting how she is putting stuff together.

As we were leaving the cemetery she wanted to sing our special prayer for the graves - Eternal Memory.

For me, I was glad I had someone to squeeze during the sad parts of the funeral.

I know that Mrs Viola will be a topic of conversation over the next few weeks and months and years to come as she made the girls Ninis. They LOVE LOVE LOVE their Ninis in case you have not picked up on this. I told her I was pregnant with number #3 by asking if she thought she might be able to have another Nini ready at the end of October. So that just makes the Ninis even more special and she told me that baby #3 has a Nini waiting for him/her which will just make this baby's Nini super extra special.

Here's all the joy and comfort that the Ninis bring to the girls

Getting R situated with her Nini

Double take on the Ninis

Peacefully enjoying Nini

Snuggling Nini

With Nini the sleeping possibilities are ENDLESS


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