As many of you have heard, Chadwick Boseman loss his battle to Colon Cancer. I share in the heartbreak of so many fans. Some of your teachers may be wondering how to address death and address the death of a hero. We live in times that require a long pause, tears, many prayers, and the most importantly, a space to talk about feelings and emotions.
Black Panther may be the conversation in many classrooms on Monday, from Kindergarten to twelfth grade. And it's okay to stop and talk about what he meant to our students.
What happens when your hero dies? Many of your students may be grappling with this empty feeling. Black Panther was a top-selling Halloween costume and movie. He was and still is beloved by many. His death came as a shock because he kept his diagnosis secret. He will be missed by many around the world.
Black Panther was the first widely known African-American superhero. Wakanda was one of the first magical places depicted in a Disney movie that celebrated the multicultural heritage, tribes, customs, and family values positively and significantly for African-Americans.
Below are some tips for teachers to address the loss of Black Panther.
- As a class, pray for him and his family. Say the Rosary together.
- Actively listen to students express their emotions freely.
- Find a way to celebrate his life.
- Find a way to give or donate to the American Cancer Society.
- Coloring or art project.
- Listen to an interview. Chadwick Boseman is also remembered for a speech he gave to Howard University's graduating class of 2018. The full speech can be viewed below. He stated the importance of giving honor to his Creator. He went on to quote 1 Corinthians 3:6: "As the Scripture says, I planted the seed, and Apollos watered it. But God kept growing-God kept it growing." https://youtu.be/RIHZypMyQ2s
Ask the class how they would like to remember his legacy.
Below are some tips for parents and teachers to talk about death. This information was taken from KidsHealth.com.
Here are some things parents can do to help a child who has lost a loved one:
When talking about death, use simple, clear words. To break the news that someone has died, approach your child in a caring way. Use words that are simple and direct. Pause to give your child a moment to take in your words.
Listen and comfort. Every child reacts differently to learning that a loved one has died. Some kids cry. Some ask questions. Others seem not to react at all. That's OK. Stay with your child to offer hugs or reassurance. Answer your child's questions or just be together for a few minutes.
Put emotions into words. Encourage kids to say what they're thinking and feeling in the days, weeks, and months following the loss. Talk about your own feelings: It helps kids be aware of and feel comfortable with theirs. Say things like, "I know you're feeling very sad. I'm sad, too. We both loved him so much, and she loved us, too."