Got this great - and timely - email on parenting a child with death anxiety from Cindy Brandt.
“Because I had death anxiety, I have been fascinated by the topic of death for as long as I can remember. Now that I’m more resourced to manage my anxiety, I still love talking about death, because this beautiful, natural thing we all universally experience infuses our lives with meaning. If your child wants to talk about death, or is processing the deaths of loved ones or pets, by all means engage with them. Normalize conversations about death, about loss, grief, and spiritual beliefs of the after-life. Because death is human, and so are our kids.”
Lately, our youngest (6) has been going through moments of death anxiety before bed. Worried because she doesn’t want to die, doesn’t want us to die, doesn’t want the dog to die. I found this advice helpful because I think it simultaneously addresses our (N. American, white) culture’s avoidance of death as a whole. This idea of normalizing these conversations should hopefully also help forge a healthier and more open perspective on this fundamental aspect of being alive.