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The House of Mourning
Death is an inevitable part of life. In the present day, we tend to shy away from it and avoid talking about it with our children. The old trope about Rover going to “live on a farm” betrays our fear and timidity.
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.
As is typical, we collectively do the opposite of what the wise thing to do would be. Now, more than ever, we should be taking our children to funerals and visitations. They should see people weeping. They should see the bodies of the dead.
And we should teach them to take it to heart. They will not live forever. Their parents will not live forever. If they are blessed, they will live long enough to help bury their parents and many of their friends.
Children used to be around death more often. Life on a farm, for example, presented all sorts of opportunities that are foreign to our current sterilized existence.
Chickens would die for the sake of the oven. Animals would be stolen by coyotes. The cycle of life was laid bare for all to see, and parents could teach and children could learn.
Likewise, families used to be larger. Most would have lost a sibling or two and remember it.
Where modern life fails, we must fill in the gaps. Take them to as many funerals as you are able. Let them see you comfort those that mourn. Let them see the laughter of loved ones as they remember the life of the one who passed on.
Is it inconvenient? Yes. It’s meant to be.
Death intrudes. It does not care about anyone’s schedule. It comes like a thief in the night and the living must deal with the consequences. We are forced to respect it because it will eventually come for us.
Even for the Christian death intrudes, though it was been softened to a deep sleep.
Do not fail to provide your children with this important education.