- “I never want to grow up”, “I want to stay like this forever”, “I don’t want to die”. No, I didn’t read Peter Pan to my daughter. She has been telling me a few times already, I just didn’t pay attention. I asked her why don’t you want to die and she answered me that it is scary. She must have thought about it for a while. It just put everything into perspective for me. How do you explain death to a child? I don’t mean the grieving and pain that we, who stay behind, must endure. It is not that I know for sure but I explained it like this: “imagine God or Divine is like a big puzzle and we are all a little piece in that puzzle, waiting to be re-unified with the Divine, whence we come from”.
I am not of the religious sort and all the different teachings in religion have alienated me more than anything else. I grew up with teachings of evil and good and somehow always questioned the ultimate truth religion claims to possess. So how am I to explain to an 8-year old what death means?
Whatever I was taught about death through religion scared the hell out of me. I don’t want to do that to her. I have read of spiritual masters (yes I believe Jesus was one of those master) that describe the ultimate reunion with the Divine as something mere words cannot describe, but closest to it comes absolute unconditional love and acceptance. I am not denying that evil exists but I am as sure as hell (there we go – absolutely anchored in the language we use) not going to tell my already scared child that death might be the Day of Judgment. I never believed it and I still don’t.
I believe each one of us has a choice to recognize the essence of life and death perhaps by way of religion or perhaps through a personal philosophy and live (and die) by it. Everything else is mere politics, little pieces of puzzles being lost and scared in the vastness of possibilities.