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Living Dead: Child Zombies and Difficult Conversations

It’s that time of year again, when the leaves start to transition into beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows and when spooky Halloween decorations, like ghosts and skeletons, highlight our local neighbourhoods.

Children dress-up into all sorts of fun, and in some cases, scary and gory costumes. Costumes like zombies, skeletons, ghosts, and vampires. It’s interesting that many of the scarier costumes and decorations we gravitate towards tend to flirt with death and dying, yet in Canada, death is typically only discussed within the context of horror and gore. This is unlike the celebration that takes place in Mexico, known as Dia de los Muertos or The Day of the Dead, when loved ones and ancestors who have passed are celebrated and remembered. This cultural contrast in how we celebrate this time of year may speak to the general uneasiness with which we approach healthy conversations around our own deaths and the death of others.

It’s interesting that in some cases we find it easier to dress-up our children as zombies than to have a conversation with them about the process of death and healthy ways to cope with grieving. Thankfully communicating any simple information with your kids about death and grieving can be helpful in providing them with tools for processing death in the future and, in turn, improving their quality of life.

If you would like some advice about how to start these conversations with your children or any of your loved ones, contact Shuswap Hospice Centre at 250-832-7099 or visit us at 781 Marine Park Drive near the wharf.

PHOTO: We see local kids Monica Seys (left), Gareth Seys  (middle), Lily Seys (right) and their dog Red Seys dressed up for Halloween—Photo Credit to Promise Photography