I have a problem lying to and misleading children. I try not to intentionally do it to my own children, even when it comes to things like death. After seeing a recent viral video of someone doing just that, my thoughts on this issue have only solidified.
This past father’s day, the mother above (Gayle Valentine) took her son to his father’s graveside to leave a card on Father’s Day. I don’t particularly have an issue with this as it was probably therapeutic for the both of them. I’ve performed this particular ritual myself, although after I realized I was doing it for me and not for the person who had died, I stopped (not that I’m criticizing others who do it). Anyway, after the boy had placed his card among some other trinkets, he found a letter addressed to him among them. While reading the letter, he realized that it was from his father, who was supposed to be dead and rotting in the ground below, basically telling him to be good.
And so comes my objection to this whole thing.
While I realize this woman was only trying to do something nice for her son, I have to wonder what negative connotations might manifest later. I’ve written about child indoctrination before, and even though the letter was innocent, I think it sends a message to the boy which is that the dead can communicate with us here on Earth.
Right now he’s eight, so it might not be something that will affect him too much, but what happens when he expects his father to try and communicate with him again? Will his mother explain that his father isn’t able to communicate again or will she keep on writing letters for her son to “find”? Either way, this is a problem. If this isn’t something that’s addressed now, so-called psychics will see this kid coming from a mile away.
Hopefully she’ll come clean about her deception. At least that way, they can get the lie out of the way and focus on actually grieving instead of putting it off by getting fake letters from heaven.