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talking about death

Wednesday, November 07, 2001 11:25 PM

I spoke with Tyler after I picked him up from school today. The conversation flowed smoother than I expected, and I know he is forewarned, but I am sure that as the reality of this sets in he will have questions or maybe some acting out or depression. I asked him if he remembered what was in his body, and he said yes, his spirit, and that spirits held love and care. We talked about how bodies sometimes got old and stopped working or sometimes they could get hurt really badly and stop working, and he said, yes, and then the body dies. We talked about how the spirit is forever, and that when a person dies it is their body, but the spirit doesn’t die. Tyler said spirits are stronger than any bad things and they are even stronger than houses. I asked Tyler where he thought spirits went when the body dies, and he said, up there. I figured I could work with that theory, and I said yes, the body becomes part of the earth and that the spirit goes to the spirit world. I reminded Tyler of the verse in our bedtime prayer…

Mother Earth, bless & father sky keep
Ancestors watch me while I sleep
Protect my heart, protect my home,
Protect my spirit as I roam (this references dreaming)
Sister moon and brother star watching over us from afar, bless (and then we list family)

I reminded Tyler that ancestors are members of our family who have already died and whose spirits have gone to the spirit world, and that they watch over us, protect us, and guide us, particularly through our dreams. I asked him if he remembered what the Great Spirit was, and that it was the thing that makes life, the force that is in every living thing. I reminded him of a conversation we had long ago when he picked up a meal grace I didn’t approve of, where I had explained that God wasn’t a man sitting in the sky deciding who deserved food and who didn’t, but that God is a great spirit that is everywhere and in everything that lives, and that the great spirit is in the earth and the sun and the stars and the sky, that the great spirit lives in him and me, that the spirits inside us that make our bodies work and our minds think are all part of the same great spirit so god isn’t ‘out there’, the Great Spirit is ‘in here’ and that we are all a part of the great spirit and the great spirit is a part of everything. I said to him, you know boppa is pretty sick right now. Tyler responded yes, and that Boppa was going to die. I explained, as we have discussed before, that everything living has a time to die (we’ve lost several fish), but that Boppa’s body had been getting older and older and some parts of it were very worn out and that his body was really hurting badly. I explained that his spirit might have to leave his body soon, I told him that when our spirits have to leave our bodies that they go back with the great spirit so that they can be everywhere, that we can’t see or touch their bodies anymore, but the spirits are always wherever we need them and that we can always tell them we love them. I explained that boppa was a little confused about the changes in his body, and a little nervous about his spirit, but that right now he really needed to know that we loved him, and that we don’t want Boppa to be worried right now. We went to the hospital tonight, and I told Tyler that I knew he might have questions, but that we would need to talk about them later… I told Tyler that if I squeezed his arm or hand, that I needed him to help me out by telling Boppa that he loved him.

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