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How to explain burial & heaven?

(7 Posts)
SparklyStream Sun 14-Apr-13 22:01:38

So we always told DD (5) that when you die you go to heaven. 'how?' she asks. 'you just kind of float' I say.

Today we pass a graveyard, so I'm explaining what's in there. She's now making a distinction between those who get buried and those who go to heaven, and doesn't get to concept of the body in the ground vs the spirit which can be in heaven etc. 'what is your spirit?' she asks. I offer 'it's your character, your laughter, your feelings', but I can see by her face that it's not explaining things for her. 'Do you get buried when there aren't enough clouds?' she asks...

Two hours later......similar questions.

How do you explain this to a 5yo?

Manchesterhistorygirl Sun 14-Apr-13 22:04:47

The angels take your soul to heaven, but your body remains here on earth. That's how I always undearstood it as a child, might not work if you're not religious though.

TreeLuLa Sun 14-Apr-13 22:07:30

We are atheist, so would say..

WHen your body stops working, you die. You're not here anymore - like falling asleep forever.
The parts of your body are useful for other things and will grow into flowers and trees and earthworms and grass. The parts of you that all the people you love remember and the kind things you have done live on in them when they remember you.

Bearwantsmore Mon 15-Apr-13 08:49:16

Sparkly, I'm having exactly the same problem with my 4.5 yr old. I tried a very similar explanation to you and her response was, "do you mean that your head goes to heaven and the rest of you in buried?". So can't help but would love to know how to explain the concept of a soul to a young child! Maybe try reposting in Religion/Spirituality??

matana Mon 15-Apr-13 12:18:02

Everything about a person that other people can actually see and touch/ feel goes in the ground and makes the plants and flowers grow. Everything about a person that other people can't see and can't touch, like their thoughts, feelings, memories and voice, go to heaven -they don't take up any space because you can't see them, they're like air - you know it's there but you can't see it.

katykuns Mon 15-Apr-13 13:34:52

We are having the same problem with my 6 year old. She saw a mummified girl on her school trip to the local museum. I wish I hadn't said anything about heaven, as what would have been quite a simple explanation has now become entirely confused.

Also, do not say anything about death being like sleeping forever, children then can become fearful of going to sleep.

I am currently trying to reassure my daughter that I will only die when I am old :S She has become fearful that I will die...

TheBreastmilksOnMe Tue 16-Apr-13 21:24:24

I explained to my 4 1/2 year old ds tonight that God, who lives in heaven is like an enormous light and we are all pieces of God so we all have a little light inside us. When we get old + wrinkly (I'm keeping it simple) our bodies go to sleep and the light inside of us goes back to join with God in Heaven.

He also understands somewhat that we come to Earth and have many lives as different people but generally its really hard to explain our concepts of spirituality to him at this age.

He gets a bit upset at the thought of us 'dying' or that he has a light in him so I try and avoid the subject for now.

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