About the Author
R. W. Alley is the illustrator for the popular Abbey Press adult series of Elf-help books, as well as an illustrator and writer of children’s books. He lives in Barrington, Rhode Island, with his wife, daughter, and son. See a wide variety of his works at: www.rwalley.com.
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What Happens When Someone Dies?
A Child's Guide to Death and Funerals
By Michaelene Mundy, R. W. Alley
Abbey PressCopyright © 2009 Michaelene Mundy
All rights reserved.
Why Do People Die?
All living things begin, grow, change — and then die. You can see it happen in grass and flowers and plants. Sometimes things live for a long time (like a tree) and sometimes for not a very long time (like a flower).
People can die because they are very sick, very old, or sometimes because of an accident. They die when an important part of their bodies no longer works right to keep them alive — like the lungs to breathe or the heart to pump blood.
Not even doctors understand everything about death. It is something that happens — and something we can help each other deal with.
Does It Hurt to Die?
For many people, the biggest "hurt" about dying is knowing they will miss loved ones. Some people are ready to leave this world — because their bodies are tired or worn out and they hurt a lot; others are not ready at all.
Even some people who know God loves them are afraid to die. We pray that those who have died will "rest in peace." Death is hard to understand, so we compare it to something we DO understand. It is sort of like sleeping — but that person doesn't ever wake up. When a person is dead, their body doesn't move anymore. They look quiet and peaceful.
What Can I Do about My Sad Feelings When Someone I Love Dies?
Drawing pictures of things you did together, talking to other people about the person who died, crying, remembering happy times with that person, saying a prayer asking God to help you AND the person who has died, pretending you are talking to the person who died ... all of these things can help. What good things are you remembering?
Our faith tells us that a person's body may die, but that their spirit or soul goes to another place to be with God. The body is what we can see and touch. The spirit or soul is what makes them special.
Are There Other Ways People Say Goodbye?
After a death, people get together — at a funeral home, at church, and at the cemetery — to say goodbye to the person who has died. It may feel like a party because there will be a lot of people you don't see very often.
Some people have different, special ways to say goodbye to the person who has died. Some have what is called "cremation" of the body. This means the body is turned into ashes and put into a pretty container that is buried or kept in a special place. Or the person who died is dressed nicely and buried in a special box called a casket.
Excerpted from What Happens When Someone Dies? by Michaelene Mundy, R. W. Alley. Copyright © 2009 Michaelene Mundy. Excerpted by permission of Abbey Press.
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