2. HOW SHALL WE SPEAK OF GRANDPA'S DEATH TO THE
Euphemisms such as "he has gone to sleep" or "he has gone on a long trip" only tend to frighten the child. No wonder the child has translated going to sleep or is panicked at the prospect of his parents' leaving on a trip.
The child is worried about abandonment and wants to know if his or her parents will be there for them.
Death is a reality which in various stages of our lives we learn to accept. I have written a prayer-poem which may speak to the hearts of the children.
WHERE IS GRANDMA?
by Harold M. Schulweis
The young child asked
"Where is Grandma?"
And the adults gasped
Not knowing what to say
Certainly not in the earth
Buried, covered over with soil and small rocks
Certainly not in the heavens
Distant, far off, a fantasy of the imagination.
Much closer than earth, much closer than heaven
Grandma, dear child, is within us all.
In our memories of her kindness and goodness
Memories that are not faint echoes but resonate in us each day
Grandma is in our tenderness with each other, in our loyalty to family
for friends, in our love of our people.
Nothing noble dies with death.
Warm embraces, wise counsel do not evaporate into the air.
Grandma is not "where" but "when"
Wherever we gather together to celebrate festivals
Whenever we offer help to the poor, the homeless, the sick
Whenever we defend the innocent
raise our voice against injustice
Grandma's influence is present.