Because I'm really lax about posting things on Mondays, I'm going to use Mondays as a meme for some issue that's been on my mind this week. We went to a friend's for dinner this weekend and during dinner, my friend Kelly said that her 4 year old daughter had been asking her about what would happen to her "if mommy and daddy go to God." Whoa, that's really heavy stuff! It got me thinking about what I'd say to SoJo if/when he asks that someday.
Mr. Geek and I were talking about it last night, and my thought was that I'd just say that "Mommy and Daddy will be here with you, and don't worry." My reasoning was that there is no need for their little minds to worry over something that may or may not happen, and if it does happen, that would be the time for them to worry over it. What's done is done, and the child would have no choice but to carry on and deal with it (as cruel as that sounds).
My husband was more into the "honesty is the best policy" approach. He practices mindfulness and meditation, so his main philosophy of living is to be full present in each moment (a simple idea that is hard to practice--hence, practice and not mastery). His answer to SoJo would be something along the lines of "Mama and Dada are here with you right now," or "someone will always be there to take care of you. You don't need to worry."
When SoJo asks one day "what happens to us when we die?" my husband will tell him "No one knows for sure." I agree with him on that, since no one really does know. We may believe and have faith in something, but until someone dies and comes back from the dead (I won't even get into my thoughts on reincarnation), we truly don't know. Mr. Geek imagines the following scenario: he is with SoJo in his bedroom, with a globe or the world. He spins the globe and tells SoJo to stop it with his finger. His finger lands on Outer Mongolia.
Mr. Geek asks him, "what is Outer Mongolia like?"
SoJo answers "I don't know."
Mr. Geek: "That's like when we die. I've never been there, so I don't know what it's like. It's a new place to go."
Ok, is this crazy, or completely sane?
My thoughts on above scenario. When SoJo asks me where we go when we die, I say something like, "Where were you before you were born?" He says, "I don't know" and I say that I believe that we go back to that place, wherever, whenever it may be.
Of course who the hell knows what our opinions will be when our son is at the age where he starts asking these questions. I'd like to know what your thoughts are on this issue. Have your kids asked you these kinds of questions? What did you tell them? Or what will you tell them when they do ask?