This is a long overdue post. This was supposed to be posted last Thursday in line with Halloween but I didn’t finish it because I was catching up on Awkward. Anyway, since it’s All Soul’s day today, I guess it’s still connected?
I went to the cemetery last Thursday with my family to visit our family who are now up there. I really don’t like going to the cemetery, it’s like a sad and a creepy place because one day I’ll just end up there.
The thing is, I have learned one lesson or two from my family that day.
First, to tell kids straight up what death is. My cousin has two kids, they’re the youngest in the family. My niece is 5 years old and my nephew is 2. The thing is, they don’t know what death is. Well they do know but in a sense that dead people are up in heaven right now or they’re just sleeping. But to me, it shouldn’t really be that way. Children should know what death really is so they won’t be afraid of death or they won’t question it when they grow up. And to handle it well.
I have experienced that when I was younger. When my mom’s cousin’s dad passed away (basically he’s my grandfather but I call him tito. Same goes with my other grandfathers and grandmothers /I call them tita) I was the same age as my niece that time. I remember going to the family house and the chairs and paintings were all down and people started going in and out being busy and all. I don’t remember vividly what happened that day but I can recall that it was the day before my dad’s flight. It was August and I was still in Kindergarten. Then my mom started talking to my grandma And the next thing I remember from that was I was getting picked up by my mom after school for that week and heading to the grocery to buy coffee, styro cups and all that then eating lunch and finally heading to the family house. The first time I saw the coffin I got pretty shocked. It was my first time seeing it. Then that’s when they finally told me that Tito passed away but they told me he was in heaven and all. They didn’t tell me the reason why he died. I only found that out when I was 7? The next thing I remember about that was when my great grandmother went out and saw his saw. Then she just cried by the coffin. I was confused and didn’t know what to do that time. I was eating meriyenda and playing Yugi-Oh cards when that happened. I had a feeling she was told about it somewhat late.
Long story, short. Adults should always explain to their children what death is so they won’t be pretty shaken up about it. And there’s no harm in exposing the children to the subject of dead people and death itself. And it’s the way you explain it to them. My parents didn’t really sit me down and talked about death when I was younger, I just found out about it later on in life. (Like pre-teen years, yes). And I was the one who explained it to myself (get it? Um well I pretty much googled it and read books) So when I have kids someday, I will totally tell them about death. Not the “heaven-hell” type. But the real world type. Why people die, what happens if they die, etc. I’m also going to tell them they shouldn’t be afraid of death. It will happen to everyone and you just can’t be alive forever.
Second, it takes time to get over a loved one who passed away. There’s no minimum or maximum time to grieve. You can’t easily move on from it. It’s not like in love where you just grab a boy and make out with him then you can say you’ve finally moved on. It’s not like that when it comes to someone who died. You just can’t grab someone and tell them to be your grandmother or your uncle.
I can say that some of my family members are pretty much still moving on from what happened last September. Well, it has just been 2 months ever since. I can see that my mom is pretty much strong about it. She just talks about my grandfather sometimes. I’m pretty sure that’s her way to move on. Same goes with my aunts. By talking about him. To be honest, I don’t know their relationship with my grandfather when they were younger or when my grandfather was still alive.
Uh anyway, I only did this post because adults and you kids out there who are reading this should learn from this post too. Like tell your /future/ children about your departed ones. Tell them the reason why they died. Whether they died because of an illness or because of an accident tell them. Straight up. No bullshit. And if they have questions, answer them. Don’t sugarcoat anything. Tell them what was it like or your memories with them when they were still alive. It’s okay to reminisce about the ones who have passed. It’s also okay to miss the ones who passed away. But you need to know that life has to go on for you too.