Preparing children for death as part of life

I feel so sad today. I had an intuition to check the Roseville Community Preschool website for some reason. I didn’t know why. Maybe there would be a new link or a cool photo. There is was this announcement:

It is with a heavy heart that we announce Bev Bos has died. 

Bev Bos by Shannon Carlsen Photography

Bev touched my life in a profound way. I only met her on two occasions but that was all it took. She hugged me with that sparkle in her eye, and I knew that she was a kindred spirit. I went to her Good Stuff for Kids conference several years back and before that I had visited the preschool for only an afternoon. Bev was authentic, real, and a true advocate for families and children. I remember her telling us during the conference one day that we must get children prepared for life. So, reading stories and singing songs about death and life before something big happens helps kids. . they will already have stories and songs within them to draw upon when death comes. It is because of Bev that I first bought The Tenth Good Thing about Barney for my class.

I don’t know how to paint the picture of Bev because she was truly remarkable. It’s like trying to describe a beautiful sunset to someone, words fail. I would not be the teacher I am today without her inspiration and wisdom. I wrote this poem for Bev today. Here is the link to our singing round that was so beautiful Bev is in the center circle.

from head to toe

The paint wall in my classroom

took me four days to build

drilling into concrete and sweating

but you told me

children need to stand when they paint and use their whole bodies

I don’t talk when children are painting, I let them be

Sometimes I slide in another paint brush or ask, ” Do you need anything else?”

I championed the removal of wood chips in our play area to be replaced with sand

There were hours and hours of digging to turn the sand box into a

true digging zone

because you told me

children need to dig, and mix, and dig, and mix, and get messy

I let paint spill, get splashed around, and get poured and poured

because your reminded me how precious childhood is

how

too much

over the top

over flowing

is the world that children live in

When I arrived at your preschool there were lollipops hanging from the fence for the children and each child was so excited to go find one

a world where each child is given the gift of respect

time to be free and time to explore their natural wonder

Bev I hold you close

with my most cherished memories

one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met on Earth

Bev Bos by Shannon Carlsen Photography

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Preparing children for death as part of life

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  1. Mahita, I feel deeply moved by this piece, by the love and honoring of Bev that I read in your words.
    I love hearing about children needing to stand to paint so they can paint with their whole bodies, and that they need to dig, to move, and that you championed for sand! A sense of encouraging children to engage fully with life. I see the fence with multicolored lollipops hanging, whirling in the desert wind.
    I feel so inspired hearing of the work you are doing with these children, how you are contributing to their well being and bringing so much richness into their lives.

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