I finally finished Tom’s memory page. Glenn’s dad passed away in November 2008 but I have just had the inspiration to finish his page. I think Glenn will like the tribute to his dad.
We had a mouse funeral last week. One of Alex’s pet mice, Miley, died. Alex was very upset, understandably. We chose to bury her in the back yard in the wild flower patch. We said a few nice words about her friend. I asked her if she wanted me to say a prayer. She said, “No.” But as I was walking away I caught Alex with her hand clasped saying a prayer.
Some people think that kids are too young to experience death or they feel they should “protect” them from it. I feel the opposite.
Death is a part of life.
It doesn’t make death any easier knowing that but it shouldn’t be a frightening unknown thing. We should be able to say “good-bye” and mourn, then rejoice the time we had with our loved one. I was 18 years old before I experienced death. It was my friend Jimmy who committed suicide. I didn’t know how to handle it. It was scary. Mainly because no one talked to me about it. No one told me what to expect when going to visitation. No one told me that I would see Jimmy laying in the casket; that is how I would always picture him.
When Grandpa Tom died I talked to Alex about the funeral. She is 7 years old and I told her what to expect and asked if she wanted to go. There wasn’t a traditional viewing. You could go if you liked but most of us just meet at the grave-site in Ft. Logan Cemetary and had the ceremony in a small gazebo like area next to a lake. They did the folding of the flag and the playing of “Taps” customary of a former serviceman. Then a friend of his sang “Amazing Grace.” It was a touching tribute to a great father and husband.
Alex chose not to go to the service. I personally felt she should have gone. Glenn felt otherwise. But ultimately I let Alex make that decision. I think giving her the facts and the freedom to choose will make it a little less scary when faced with death in the future.