Telling My Son About Reincarnation....

We buried our dog of 7 years yesterday in the backyard, he was about 11 years old. The entire family got involved in burying him. My hubby and step-dad dug the 6' deep grave. they measured his body to figure out how they would fit him in for he hardened in a sprawled out sleeping position. Our roommate took me to home depot to get lime to help the body decompose faster into the soil and cancel out any odors once it decomposes. Luke gathered some of Duncan's favorite toys and a cup of his favorite food to add into the grave with him and my mom made coffee for everyone. The whole time I thought about how much Duncan would have loved being right there in the middle of the action, and that his spirit was probably right there with us. 

My 4 year-old son, L, cried as we lowered his body into the exact sleeping position we found him in. He participated by throwing in his 2 favorite balls. I threw in 2 freshly cooked chicken bones, and our roommate who'd always sneaked him treats, threw in 2 donuts.  When L asks about Duncan we've been telling him that although his body is dead, his soul lives on....We told him Duncan is in heaven right now resting and actively getting ready to come back in a new body to learn new lessons. As Buddhists my husband and I believe strongly in reincarnation. He seemed to like knowing that his soul lives on and the prospect of finding him again in the future. 

I noticed how well my son embraced our dog's death. All night as we lay cuddled he told me funny stories about Duncan which made me feel like we did a good job involving him in the burial and in being so open about his terminal illness. Death is not a thing to be feared, but just another phase in the circle of life. 

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