A little girl came to church the other day specifically to ask me some questions. Because her grandad had just died. She was about 7. I loved her questions. She had written them down in this order:
- Is heaven made out of clouds?
- Can we sing ‘shine’ at the funeral [a bouncy kids song she likes!]
- What do you say at the funeral?
- Do you like being a vicar?
- Do you like working for God and Jesus?
- Can you pray for my grandad?
And then comes the crunch…
- Do you burn my grandad?
How would you answer that? Watching a vicar try and explain cremation to a little girl should be a spectator sport. The wonderful thing is, children accept what you say so readily. So, when I said yes, we do burn grandad’s body but grandad isn’t there any more so it’s not really burning grandad, she was fine.
We keep kids away from death too much. They often deal with it more better (as they say) than us grown-ups who worry to much and try and protect them. Let‘s not do that so much.
And by the way, heaven isn’t made of clouds.
It’s made of cheese.