I admire Caitlin Doughty, licensed mortician and founder of the Order of the Good Death. With sly humor and good advice, she, like me, seeks to help start funeral planning conversations. This new video on her Youtube channel demonstrates how adults can talk to their children about death.
“As adults, we’ve gotten very good at denying death, at figuring out how to push it way back into the back corners of our minds,” Doughty said. “But a child faced with death hasn’t built up those same defense mechanisms and might not be as good at repressing their fears.”
When Doughty was eight years old, she saw a child die in a traumatic way. A scene like that is often replayed over and over in a child’s mind, and children don’t have to see a death happen to be psychologically traumatized.
“If you’re a parent or guardian, you need to man up, or woman up, and push past your own fears about death to talk to your child about it. Do not let them suffer in confusion and silence because you are afraid,” she said.
Doughty then goes on to use a fuzzy doll puppet to demonstrate a few questions you might face and answers you might consider. It’s got humor, humanity and good advice. Check out the video – it’s great.