Imagine what you could do if you knew you could not fail.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Spirit World and Ghosts

Today I had a fun conversation with Athena. Last night we had her cousin, Amber, over. I guess when they were in Athena's room, Amber told Athena that she saw on the news that ghosts are real and that someone saw one. I saw that same broadcast. It was on the 10:00 news. There have been reports of people seeing and hearing things at the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers museum in Salt Lake City. They were saying that they caught an image of "something" on tape. The workers were also discussing with the news crew different things they have seen or heard while in the museum. This is what Amber was sharing with Athena.

When Athena brought this up to me, she was a little freaked out about the ghosts. So this was a good entrance into our conversation.

Athena asked me if I thought ghosts were real and I told her yes, I do. She got a creeped out look on her face. I then said, "Do you know why I think they are real?" Then her ears REALLY perked up and I knew she was listening. I asked her, "When someone dies, what happens to their spirit?" She said it goes to heaven. I then asked her, "Where is heaven?" She said it was in the sky. I said - so you think that everyone who died is just floating around, up in the sky somewhere, just doing nothing? She said, "I guess".

I told her, I don't think that all those spirits are floating around. I told her I know where they are. Then she said, "So you know where Grandma and Grandpa Cunningham are?!!" I said, I don't know exactly where they are RIGHT NOW, but I have an idea about where they are and what they are doing. Then we talked all about the fact that I can see her body and she can see mine. When she dies, we will bury her body and her spirit will go to the spirit world. She asked, "Where is the spirit world?" So I told her, we live on earth, and that is our world. The spirit world is right here too.

The fun part about this whole conversation was seeing all her discoveries for the first time. I love these kinds of kid conversations.

I had to explain again that her eyes can see my body. I asked her if her eyes could see my spirit and she said that her eyes could not see my spirit. Then I told her, "There are spirits all around us, and we just cannot see them with our physical eyes." Yet again, she looked all around her like - what the heck????

I told Athena that the spirits in the spirit world are very busy, just like we are on earth, only they don't have a body. I said, "When you die, you will just keep on thinking, and learning, and you will know that you are still Athena. You just won't have a body." I also told her that the spirits right now are busy learning, helping others, doing missionary work, watching out for us, and some spirits don't really know what they are doing there yet. Some spirits are of people who never heard the gospel in this world, so the good spirits are sharing the gospel and being missionaries. I also told her that's why it's so important to learn a lot while you have your body, because the spirits who are trying to learn things without their bodies have a harder time - so learn as much as you can while you are still in your body.

Sometimes when Athena is scared in her bed I have her say a prayer and ask that her guardian angels will be with her and help to comfort her. I brought that up and I asked her what she thought "guardian angels" were. She didn't really know, so I told her that her guardian angel is a very good spirit of someone who has died, and is now appointed to watch over her, help her, comfort her, and be there when she is in need. She thought that was a little scary. I told her to not be scared because we are here to help each other.

We also discussed other little details on the topic. So now I guess she knows what "ghosts" are all about. I hope that next time it comes up within a group of friends she will have a little more understanding on the topic.


Chinchia said...

That is a precious conversation. Those opportunities are so important to seize the moment they arise. Good for you.

Aprilyn said...

I love these kinds of conversations. It's the moments when we're not actually seeking the kids out to teach them that these times arise. You did a great job of explaining things to her!

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