me too have less fear of death
I think an atheist have less fear of death, m I right?
Not an easy topic to discuss with children, just like discussing sex. Death is an uncomfortable topic for adults because we really don't know the 'answers' and because, we have hidden it away since the early twentieth century and the advent of embalming, funeral homes, etc.
My sons are 21 & 25 and were raised in the Catholic faith (both atheists before graduation), so we (kinda) believed in Heaven. Now that I think about it, something that made a big impact on my disillusion with and eventual rejection of the Catholic church was the fact that they teach that animals don't have souls. I've had pet dogs for almost 30 years and feel that animals deserve much more respect than they are given and as the old saying goes, my pets have treated me better than most people I know! My dogs have given me unconditional love and loyalty. Honestly, I got to the point where believing in the Rainbow Bridge (http://rainbowbridge.com/Poem.htm) was more comforting than the idea of seeing human relatives some day in Heaven. Giving up the comforting thought that I would one day see my beloved pets was the most difficult part of rejecting religion!
Above all, it is important to be honest with children, as others have stated. It's okay for children to know adults don't have all the answers, but we have to try to explain as best we can. If we don't know, we can tell children just that, but that we will look for the answer (if possible).
People don't tell their children the truth because we don't know exactly what to say. Death and sex are both topics we try to explain as quickly as possible and we try to sugar coat the little that
we say. Another reason that you touched on is pain. We don't want to cause our children pain, even if it is healthy and necessary to express our grief and pain. As parents, we do all we can to shield them from pain.
That said, I agree with what you've said, 100%.
They do, don't they? Devin used to look out the front door when the garbage truck came by, and then he would say, "Nobody knows where the garbage man goes!"
Another time we were walking down the street, and we came across a dead dog in the road, lying next to a doughnut box with a few doughnuts strewn about. I said he must have been trying to eat the doughnuts and he got hit by a car. Dev said, "Dad, dead dogs don't eat doughnuts!" I've often thought that one sounds like the title of a book: Dead Dogs Don't Eat Doughnuts.