One of the best ways to teach children that we respect the dead is to visit a well-kept
cemetery. This can be a pleasant and meaningful family outing, especially during the fall and winter seasons, because all
of nature is in repose as it awaits the renewal of spring.
Think about the relationship between the changing seasons and the cycles of our own lives: We are born, we bloom,
we mature and we die to be born again into Spirit. Life renews itself. The symbolism of spring, summer, autumn and winter,
as it relates to the circle of life, can be helpful to children because it is gentle and valid. (If you prefer to omit Spirit,
try this: All of nature is born and all of nature dies. The imagery still works.)
If you live in the Cincinnati-TriState area, take a stroll through Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum, a tranquil place that honors life in a beautiful setting.
Visit the graves of your own family members. Place seasonal flowers or wreaths by the headstones. Share family stories
with your children about their grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins -- to remember their lives and
how they influenced your life.
Instead of the ordinary
bedtime routine, pull out your old family albums and look at them with your children. This usually inspires some good family
stories that you might forget to tell them otherwise.
Your heart will tell you what you need, or don't need, to grieve.
Go to next section: The Grieving Heart