I teach Sunday school on Wednesday nights for the 3-4 age group. Tonight in the middle of the lesson about church one of the kids looks at me and asks with such a tone of doom, "Did you know we die?"
Like a deer in the headlights, I so badly wanted to run but all I could do was stare. Heh, of all the people she sees in a day she asks me. I don't have kids and I've never even thought of a four and half year old asking me this question, but (gulp) ok...
I look and there are 4 other little faces (with 4 sets of huge eyes) looking up at me waiting for an answer. The girl who asked is the oldest in class and very ready to be moved to the next age group, she always has something to say and would be ecstatic if I just moved over and let her teach the class. I should add that she has known about death for over a year and her mother told me no one they know has passed away anywhere near recently. The other 4 are younger, not ready for this stuff and by the looks of it, have never even thought about it... till now. Why this came up on my shift is beyond me.
So I say, "well.... yeah, its ok though hun we all die, but it won't happen for many many years" (I hope) I continued by saying "and we go to Heaven to be with God, which is better then here or anywhere you can imagine. In Heaven we will get to be with God, Jesus, and all our loved ones; we will be happier than we've ever been"
She just stares at me for a few seconds, then exploded into tears. All attempted communication with her after that was useless because she was crying so loudly. I felt horrible, then I look over and the 4 other little ones who are stunned, are just staring at her with their mouths hanging open. Lovely. So the assistant teacher takes the little girl who's bawling into her lap, hugging her, and trying to make her feel better while I did my best get the others through it. I will add that they all were laughing and smiling by the end of class, so you don't think too poorly of me.
I usually try to be prepared by over thinking everything, why on earth have I never thought about getting a question like this?