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Creative ideas? What have you told your child about heaven and an afterlife?

(15 Posts)
FossilSister Mon 08-Sep-08 20:24:59

Obviously there isn't a grey-haired old man sitting up in the sky, but is there a heaven? If God is all around us, and within us and other people, where and what is heaven?

FossilSister Mon 08-Sep-08 21:11:04

Anyone? I'm realy interested to get your thoughts.

AMumInScotland Mon 08-Sep-08 21:26:12

IIRC, I told DS that I believe that there is a heaven and you go there when you die, and you are with God and Jesus. That's a bit of a simplification of what I believe, but I do believe there is an afterlife.

Papillon Tue 09-Sep-08 00:44:11

Spirit World as the afterlife

The body stops working, the Spirit leaves the body. Like a snail leaving its shell house. All creatures have Spirit inside them, Energy, and when the creature dies, its Spirit travels away from the body and does not use it as a house anymore. The Spirit can travel around while the body is still alive, but is still connected to the body.

I dont use the term heaven, but when the concept is asked about, will say it is one of the Spirit World places.

S1ur Tue 09-Sep-08 00:49:34

Do you just want christian/religious viewpoints?

or a general question about how to discuss after death?

solidgoldbrass Tue 09-Sep-08 00:54:23

Haven't told DS anything yet as he hasn't asked (he is nearly 4) but when he does I will explain that eventually we get old and our bodies stop working and we die and that's it. THere was a time when we didn't exist and there will be a time when we don't exist again (except in the memories of people we knew) but that it's nothing to be afraid of and we should enjoy and make the most of the life we have.

S1ur Tue 09-Sep-08 00:57:23

Well since SolidG is in there wink

I'm going with the yep you die and your body becomes the earth and helps nourish plants and grows new life and so the cycle of life continues.

<this is simplified for age reasons bt you get idea>

slim22 Tue 09-Sep-08 01:24:29

I find the decomposing body talk a bit gruesome for my 4.5 year old so as long as he does not ask where does the body go I won't explain.
I just say the body gets really tired and old and stops working because it hurts too much to keep it going. So you go to sleep and relax forever.

I find the simplest matter of fact explanations are the most likely to stop the cycle of "why?" & "how?"

On heaven and the 7th skies....well they are located in our heart.
We explain that loved ones who die find their way into our hearts so we can remember and cherish them at will. They are always there if you need them.

He is totally satisfied by this explanation. We live halfway across the planet and he only sees his grand parents, aunties, cousins etc a couple of times a year.
So the idea of loving someone from afar is familiar.

S1ur Tue 09-Sep-08 01:27:32

Decomposing is unnerving and not something I've covered specifically with dd (4)

But then again she composts a lot of stuff so 'gets' cycle of life stuff.

One thing I would say is steer clear of sleep associations. because it is innaccurate and worse potentially might connect sleep with end of life. Which would be a bugger.

slim22 Tue 09-Sep-08 02:54:43

shock you are right about the sleep thing.
what analogy then?

Isn't it amazing how they "get" it. You mentioned the cycle of life.
DS also "gets" it. We talked about the prehistoric timeline and how tiny bugs living in the water grew to become fish and reptile and found their way out of the water.

He always asks what/who made this and that. we say Nature rather than God and try and explain.

They do get it and the bigger puzzle eventually falls into place before we even realise they are capable of comprehending.

Irrespective of wether one is religious or not I think it's plain wrong to give any creationist explanation to children. There are well researched facts of life. explain. Help them understand the world they live in.

slim22 Tue 09-Sep-08 02:57:06

Sorry for the digression fossilsister.

I'm not very religious and not Christian btw, but I'd say heaven is your heart. Jesus is Love No?

FossilSister Wed 10-Sep-08 21:10:39

Thanks all for answering. I was thinking about whether anything of us survives and we are conscious of it.

Personally, I think we should work to make heaven on earth but I wondered what people had said to children about heaven. Clearly it's not in the sky. I no longer believe as I was taught that heaven is a reward for a good life, and therefore hell a punishment, or that God is watching our every move and totting things up.

I just wondered what modern views of heaven are.

Papillon Sat 13-Sep-08 06:12:36

yeh, we make our own heaven and hell right here in life. The point of leaving retribution till after death , bit like a delayed dagger over humanity... putting the fear of "god" and all in us.

Heaven in the heart is a nice vibe, our personal victory on how we live our lives, within the mind, body and our spiritual connections to Earth and the spirit world.

I have had too many energy manifestations, presence of other dimensions, magic to turn to myself and say its not present. So I teach my children about the Spirit World as I feel and see it. I work with trees, restoration, planting in schools, communities etc, so this gives the kids a strong connection with heaven on earth and the wonder of nature.

Stopfighting Sat 13-Sep-08 06:54:20

I'm with SolidGold.

Papillon Sun 14-Sep-08 21:02:53

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross did alot of work on Life after death, near death experience. You might like to check her out for modern views experiences of afterlife... heaven.. whatever label.

Listened to a very interesting programme on the radio yesterday about new zealand evolutionary biology, we have very good fossil records here, but despite this it also shows how difficult it is too determine at this stage the origins of beginnings, be it from dust or from spirit.

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