I had this conversation with Marcus yesterday at church. It is a conversation as predictable as the daily “be kind to your siblings” lecture, and so each child knows the rhythm of it by heart.
“Is that Jesus mommy? Jesus died?” (serious face)
Yes honey he died on the cross, do you know why?
“For our sins?” (sad face)
That's right, but did He stay dead?
“No Jesus rose!” (happy face!)
Yes, He rose three days later. He's in heaven and someday when we die we will get to go to heaven to be with Him!
(happy face! and on to another subject...)
And so to the children, death means little. They hear about it often, but the whole subject is defined for them not by the cemetery, or by grief, or by their own personal losses, but rather, in terms of Jesus' death and resurrection. Therefore it is not permanent, nor it is the end of anyone's story. Death.... like sleeping …. or moving.