A kind, positive and generous teacher at our children's school named Theresa Cheung passed away unexpectedly this past weekend. She took ill with pneumonia on Thursday and was dead by Sunday. All of my children knew and liked her. She was very easy to like.
In sharing the sad news with my kids, each had a different reaction. My little one at 4 1/2 tried to comprehend what dead meant. My middle one at 9 stared at me blankly in shock. My youngest 11 1/2 year old son became immediately worried that he didn't want to die from the flu or pneumonia and asked how he could avoid dying like Theresa. And my eldest 11 1/2 year old was very sad to hear the news.
How do you explain death? I related my philosophy that we all have a time to live and a time to die and when your time is up, it is up. That is the reality of life. I explained that we would contribute $20 towards the GoFundMe page theresa-cheung to pay towards Theresa's funeral expenses and that we would be immensely kind to her daughter who also works at the school knowing that she just lost her mom. I explained how important it is to live every day with gratitude for your life because every day is a gift.
I don't know if any of what I said resonated with the children but it comforted me somewhat.