I remember exactly where I was the day the Columbine Massacre happened in 1999. I couldn’t believe the news. Never before had we seen that kind of devastation and tragedy on a school campus. Years later, I remember exactly where I was the moment I learned of the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. I was shocked at the death toll, rocked by the devastation that had been caused by this killer who took the lives and futures of so many innocent children.
Perhaps you remember the thoughts that went through your mind. Like many, you might have had the thought, “Wow. That could have happened in my city.” And, it’s true. Tragedy knows no boundaries. It does not discriminate between people. Tragedy can hit any community, any family, any individual, at any time.
Many parents work to shield their children from seeing or hearing about these kinds of events for fear of scaring them. Rightly so. Others with older children can’t possibly keep it from them, but they struggle to find the words to explain this kind of degenerate and evil behavior. I understand.
Aside from mass shootings, terrorist attacks, Earthquakes, and other mass disasters, there are tragedies that eventually strike every family. The death of a loved one. The death of a pet. An accident that permanently injures someone. The sudden loss of income due to layoffs or being fired. Divorce. These are the every-day tragedies and losses that parents struggle to explain and help their children through.
The questions abound…
- How much do I tell my kids?
- Do I tell them everything is fine when it isn’t?
- Do I allow them to be a part of family discussions?
- Do I let them go to the funeral?
- Should I let them look at the body in the casket?
- How do I handle their questions about death?
These are all legitimate questions. They are all not so easy to answer. In this video, I share some things that will help you in this process. Kids Pastors are often in the position of needing to help parents navigate the treacherous waters of grief with their children. I am providing this video as a resource to you. Feel free to take the content provided and use it to teach the parents at your church how to better handle conversations with their children about death and tragedy.