The Power of Mortality For Kids
In 2005 I wrote a book called What’s Your Expiry Date? Embrace Your Mortality – Live With Vitality. In it, I introduced a concept I call The Power of Mortality™. I have been speaking about this topic since 2003 and done many radio and television interviews, including an hour long interview with Dr. Oz on Oprah & Friends. In 2009 I was featured in a documentary movie. But first and foremost the accomplishment that means the most to me is the incredible feedback that I get from people who have been impacted by my message.
People have changed their attitudes. People have changed their behaviors. People have changed their careers. People have changed their relationships. People have changed their lives! What more can you ask than to be able to do life-changing work?
In December of 2008 I got a message from my friend Sherry. We’ve never had the pleasure of meeting but have connected through Facebook. She and her family are fans of my book. They even have my Mortality Manifesto printed out and displayed on their fridge! Here’s what Sherry had to say:
I don’t know how you and your family talk about death, dying, living (I know your kids are younger) but my 12 year old daughter just brought it up to me. We were in the car and she just very quietly said, I love you Mom. We say it a lot in our house so I didn’t make much of it. Then also quietly she said, “i’m afraid to die”. Of course, i turned off the radio and really listened (which is what i should have been doing anyway). I’m not sure what brought it on but I think i remember having thoughts about mortality at about her age.
I really took it as an amazing opportunity to talk about mortality with her. I mentioned your name and your message (along with a bit of my own thoughts) and she knew who you were because I talk about you a lot in our home.
My point is, we continued the conversation at home in bed in the dark (where all the best intimate conversations happen). And we will continue the conversations as they come up. I`m pleased to say that she understands about mortality as something that is inevitable. And she has agreed to open her mind to facing it without fear. She also knows that there is every reason to believe that she and her family will live long lives but that each day is a gift.
So… thanks! You gave some powerful parenting tools.
Within a few weeks I had created an outline of a book that would be aimed at children, to help them to understand the idea of mortality and to approach it from a place of power, rather than fear.
And then… my life got crazy so I shelved that project.
Now, I’m proud to say that it’s back in full swing!
My question to you is:
What age do kids start to ask questions about mortality?
I’d love to hear your insights and anecdotes on the topic.