Children, Learning about Death.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Aug 3, 2011
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Storyboards of a deleted scene from Bambi (1942), in which the death of his mother is shown. This was deemed too dark for a children’s film and was cut.” (

Big Bird learns about Death. {Calvin & Hobbes}

Thanks, Sesame Street.

A wonderful example of how to teach children about life, and death, straightforwardly, with respect and feeling.

The actor who played Mr. Hooper on Sesame Street, Will Lee, died. The Sesame Street people decided to let the character die too, and used it as an opportunity to teach children about death.

This clip demonstrates how to treat death in an honest and helpful way better than any evasive or euphemistic gibberish I’ve heard from allegedly mature people.



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


8 Responses to “Children, Learning about Death.”

  1. Last year one of the children passed on in the daycare where I teach yoga. He drowned in the backyard pool. It really helped the children to talk about it at the level that they understood it. These children were all under five years old so they didn't want to talk about it for long, but knowing it wasn't a taboo subject made it easy for them to discuss it when they needed to.

    Many kids remembered stories of grandparents passing, and aunt who died of cancer, and pets stories too. It helped everyone understand that death is a part of life.

    I agree that straightforward is better. The children can lead with their feelings and questions. Much like Big Bird who had already been told about Mr. Hooper, kids may need a few conversations to really let it sink in.

  2. it's good to take such lessons, not only for children, everyone needs it

  3. […] any of their propaganda, if you don’t believe me). Vicki isn’t too hot on the idea of explaining death, let alone factory farming, to her […]

  4. […] We’ve posted on straight-up, respectful, don’t-know-mind teaching about death to children before. […]

  5. Debbie E. says:

    Thanks for a wonderful article – It's definitely a keeper!

  6. […] Bird: he must be stopped. He got us into two wars. Popped the whole housing bubble…he must be […]

  7. […] better way to defend the life of everyone’s favorite eight-foot educational bird by getting sexy, this Halloween, and repping Sesame Street all over town…and having fun […]

  8. Heather says:

    Thank you thank you thank you, Way!
    Opal asks about death all the time (she's almost 4 now)
    and, frankly, I have no idea what to say.
    I told her we couldn't see Nina Simone in concert any more
    because she is famous and she lives in New York.