Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Death and Preschool

I had meant to get back on the blogging wagon, so to speak, when things turned upside down last Monday. Elise's preschool teacher of nearly 2 years died. This did not seem to have as much effect on Elise as we might have thought, which I guess is good. Knocked me for a loop, though. I chose this particular school because of Linda. She was an amazing teacher who kept curious kids exploring. Elise's favorite subject at school due to Linda's classroom design is math. How cool is that?! Whenever Elise sees an insect and excitedly says, "Look at this cool bug-can I touch it?" and then picks it up to play with, I thank Linda. She also helped us with some of the little foibles that were getting in Elise's way and keeping her from enjoying her preschool experience. Linda "got" what was going on with our girl and got her off to a roaring good start.

Today, Elise wanted clarification about school. Wednesdays were always Linda's day off, and she commented that it isn't really her day off this week because she is dead. I agreed with her. She also noticed the picture of Linda that hangs by her classroom door-something I'm pretty sure she never looked twice at. So, she's processing this idea of permanent loss in the sort of increments that make sense when you're five. I'm glad for that, and hope I'm giving her the space she needs to do that.

Of course, because I was completely at a loss as to how to help Elise through the loss of her teacher, I did some gathering of resources. Parenting Beyond Belief has some wonderful and straightforward talk about death and grieving, and I found that helpful. I also asked one of my favorite parenting bloggers for insight, which she did beautifully right here. Thank you, RYD!


Little Green said...

So I'm curious what you are telling her about death. What do you believe about death?

RYD said...

My pleasure! :)