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In "Love Will Guide Us," a Tapestry of Faith program
Love is strong as death. — Hebrew scripture, Song of Solomon, 8:6
I sometimes feel wrapped, cocooned in love. I often feel it most strongly right before I go to sleep. Then I think of my parents who died years ago and remember what the priest told me when I grieved for my father. "People die," he told me. "They rot and turn to dust. But love is forever." — Agnes Collard
IN TODAY'S SESSION... We talked about ways of understanding death, drawing on wisdom from the sixth Unitarian Universalist Source, "Spiritual teachings of earth centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature." This Source is expressed in children's language as "the harmony of nature and the sacred circle of life." The children heard a story from Madagascar, in which the first man and woman are given a choice: Would humans die like the moon, in an endless cycle of death and rebirth, or die like banana plants, to be gone from earth forever but leaving a shoot behind that creates new life. Children discussed which choice they would have made. They made Memory Flowers to honor dead loved ones and shared in a ritual of Love and Remembering, placing their flowers in a common vase as a symbol that love lives beyond death.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Follow your child's lead in talking about death. These tips may help you be ready, when the topic comes up:
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... making a family tree together. You might include loved ones in your extended family, including relatives by adoption and remarriage. You may wish to include pets, as well. Talk about family stories that have been passed down. Focus on legacies each loved one left behind—ways their lives and their acts of love are still part of your family.
Family Adventure. Create a compost worm bin together and begin to compost your food wastes. A simple worm bin can be made by drilling air ventilation holes into a plastic container with a lid. Learn the benefits of composting and find instructions to make either a simple or more complex worm bin on the Watershed Activities website.
Family Discovery. Many books introduce death and dying to children in an age-appropriate way.
A Family Ritual. Memorialize the death of a loved one by creating an annual remembering day, perhaps on the anniversary of the death. Your activities should reflect that person. You might make their favorite food, visit a place they liked to go, gather flowers that were their favorite, or share memories and stories about them.
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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