Yesterday, we mourned the untimely demise of my youngest daughter's hamster. Little bugger lasted just short of a year. Broke her little 7 year old heart. I told her the story of how I had a similar situation when I was her age and my pet mouse died, but it didn't help too much, so I reverted to an old standby - heaven. Got me thinking (as many fairly mundane life events are wont to do...)
I'm a cultural Roman Catholic / agnostic. What the hell does that mean? Well, I'm agnostic in regards to the existence of a creator, but culturally I was raised Roman Catholic and abide by most of it's traditional celebrations. Mocking those with faith seems to be acceptable these days - wether it be a Muslim or a Christian or Jew or what have you. Religious whack jobs and rich televangelist shills have sullied the reputation of the multitude of faith based organizations and the good work they do, from the "evil terroristic Muslims" to the "pedophile priests". I can understand some of the mockery, but to slam an entire group for the acts of a small number of members is simply not fair.
I personally don't care what a person believes, if it somehow makes them a better person (and/or keeps them from killing me) then I'm all for it. Worship a flying marmot with a rainbow mohawk for all I care, if that gets you through the day. As long as your beliefs aren't causing others harm, do it up.
Anyway, I was really torn - should I pitch the idea of heaven, something I don't completely believe in, to my child?
Yes. I did it, and I don't regret it. Why? Because the concept gave her comfort. I feel the same way about anyone who is faced with death (their own impending demise or someone they care about). If it brings comfort, why not? It would really take a cold hearted soul to look a terminal cancer patient in the eye and mock them for believing in an afterlife - even if they thought they would be meeting the aforementioned marmot there. Besides, how the hell would you know?