When someone you love has died
Activity and links to related devotions for preschoolers and tweens (below).
When someone dies, especially someone we loved very much, it is not only sad, it seems cruel and unfair. "Good people and those we love don’t deserve to die."
Because we feel this way it is natural for us to be confused and angry.
The end came too quickly, too soon. Now there’s an empty space where a part of your life has been torn away. Nothing can fill that emptiness inside or take that horrible feeling away. You just want to cry and cry until you have no more tears.
Or maybe you are so scared and confused that you cannot cry, and that's okay too, because maybe your emotions (feelings) have gone numb. The strong feeling of losing someone is just too much for you to handle right now.
It's not supposed to happen this way!
Most times, death is sudden and people don’t get to say and do all the things they would have like to. But we can’t go back in time, and it's probably hard for you to believe that you won’t see that person again. You may even hope that somehow everything could come right, just as it does in stories. Your favourite stories end the way you want them to, but in real life you can't choose the way you want things to work out. Bad things do happen.
I am angry!
You may become angry about many things without understanding why. The anger comes from the hurt you are feeling, and the hurt is caused by the love you have for the person who died. Deep down you may want to blame someone for what has happened, or you may even blame God. It is okay to tell God how you feel because He understands. God also felt the hurt and sadness of death when His son, Jesus, died on the cross in a very cruel way.
You may be upset because others don’t notice how sad you really are, or because they become impatient when you keep asking questions. Perhaps they don't know what to say to you or how to help you. Or maybe they cannot help you by sharing your sadness, because they are sad too.
It is hard to accept death without looking for a reason. Why did this have to happen? If God could have kept this from happening, why didn't He? Although there is an answer, the answer itself may not give you the comfort you long for or the peace you need to calm your racing thoughts. Death is something your heart must accept by believing that God has everything in control. He has a plan for everyone's life and nothing takes Him by surprise. For now, just hold onto the fact that each of us is very precious to God (Psalm 116:15).
Below are some thoughts from the Bible.
Is there hope?
Everyone has a body and an unseen spirit. When a person dies, the life of the body ends but the spirit of the person lives on forever. Those who believe in God will get a new, heavenly body that will never, ever die. “For our earthly bodies, the ones we have now that can die, must be transformed into heavenly bodies that cannot perish but will live forever” 1 Corinthians 15:53.
A heavenly body is perfect - without sin, sickness, or pain. Dying is the way God planned for us to escape from this sinful, imperfect world to an everlasting life of joy. It is sad for those who stay behind; our turn has not yet come. But we have the sure hope that when the time comes, we will also get our new bodies and spend eternity together with those who’ve gone to Heaven before us.
At first, you may not feel like being with your friends because they seem too cheerful for the way you are feeling. That is okay for a while, but don’t stay away from them for too long.
Remember, your friends may not know the right words to say, or they may be afraid that they will say the wrong thing. It will make things easier if you are able to tell them what happened. This will help take away the awkward feeling they have. It will help them realise that you have not changed, even though you are very sad right now.
To help you remember those special times
Print the page below My special page and use it to write about the fun times you can remember and perhaps some funny things that happened.
In the middle of the page, write a ‘secret’ message to say the things you didn’t get a chance to say to the person who died. Then glue a photo of the person (or a picture you have drawn) over the message. Your love-note is still there even though you cannot see it anymore—it has been sealed and covered over as well. On the rest of your page you can write whatever you like, or draw something, and then decorate it.
To keep the memories of the good times you shared, you could also use a scrapbook. Then you could paste in photos, cards and other things to make up the life story of the person.
An activity sheet for a grieving child