Children don’t believe in death. They know better.

Children don’t believe in
death. They know better.
Is there anything
more distressing
than the death of a
child? Many people
who had always
believed in a
Creator begin to
have doubts when
death, that great
dark unknown,
snatches a little
one. But oddly
enough, what
causes us adults to
become distraught
is quite natural to
the children
So let us hear what
these children
have to say.
Children who acted
as teachers and
comforters to
adults shortly
before their deaths.
Children who stand
in the midst of life
and know that
death does not
exist—because to
them, the law of
reincarnation is a
fact of life.
Children are still
quite close to the other,
won’t see them? His body
may be laid to rest in the
ground, but everything
else hovers above. That
part can still see the flowers that I place there.’ was
the reply.”
Elfriede Volkhart noticed that children often
see more than adults when she worked in a
large German city. When she visited a man
at home who was dying of cancer, his small
son suddenly piped up: “I can see angels
around daddy.” He also saw his father’s
body-of-light in which he looked wonderful, healthy and happy.
“He just told me that he would always
look after me.” The child gained a lot of
comfort from this vision and was able to
cope well with his father’s death.
real world. They have not
yet built up a protective
carapace of fears and
opinions. Sometimes, they
even tell us what the world
beyond death looks like.
The only problem is that hardly anyone
listens to them. Elfriede Volkhart is one who
does. She is a paediatric nurse and has
frequently worked with dying children
since 1965. At first she could not always
make sense of what they were saying. Today
she knows the truth of the matter.
“Dying children often say that they will
be going into the light, where it is much
more beautiful. Where there are flowerstrewn meadows. One of them told me of a
pretty cottage in the woods in front of which
grandma and granddad sat, and granddad
smoked his pipe. In fact, they had already
died. ‘There are wonderful toys there’ said
the child in joyous anticipation. Another
By Ursula Seiler
child said he would cross the ocean on a
huge liner. I said: ‘But there’s no ocean over
there.’ ‘You just have no idea. It’s really
great at sea’, insisted the child. ‘Have you
already been there’, I asked. ‘No, but I know
it’, was the reply. ‘Maybe you got it from
TV?’ ‘No, you don’t see things like that on
TV. That’s something else you don’t know.’
“A six-year old boy knew that not everything in a person ends in the grave. He drew
a grave with his granddad floating in the air
horizontally above it. ‘When granddad is
dead, I will lay flowers on his grave.’ – ‘But
if you give him them now, you will see what
pleasure he has in them’, his mother advised
him. ‘Haha! Do you really think that he
seven-year old boy also told of life in
the other world. He had obviously lived
‘there’ in the children’s sphere. “We drank
from a spring and ate fruit from the trees. We
had little tree-houses. There was only sun,
sun, sun. The fruit was surrounded by light,
in wonderful colours. Music emanated from
everywhere, we hovered around colours.
Little angels played with us. Everyone was
kind, no-one was nasty. All around us was a
very fine substance, woven of light. You
have a face but you don’t know what kind of
face. You also have a body, but you don’t
know what it really looks like. It’s so very
different to here. You have to take care of
everything, not break anything. Then an angel appears and gives you a precious stone.
When someone joins us from earth, a big
party is held. The buildings are made of light.
You can see them but they are not there, they
are transparent, you can only feel them.
“There are about 32,000 spheres. There
is no time, because it is faster than time.
When someone does something good, he
rises a level. At the very highest level you
are with God. You are also given lessons.
You learn what happens to human beings.
“You will never get bored there. Everything that you can get is of the best. Here on
earth it is also fine, but we just don’t know
any better. Our real world is there.
“When you die again, you are collected
and called and recount the latest happenings
on earth. When we were there, we travelled
around the earth. We floated through space.
People could not see us. We even travelled
to the moon along the colours of the rainbow. We had so much fun. God came and
took a look. He was wearing a coat of light.
‘You ought to go to earth’, he said. ‘We
don’t want to’, we said. ‘But it’s better that
you do’, said God. A child said: ‘There are
such pretty flowers here.’ ‘But the earth also
has its roses, shrubs, woods and houses.’
Mother Mary said: ‘On earth it’s beautiful
too. After all, you can come back here when
you grow old.’
“The other children went to Spain. I came
here. I came down like a bolt of lightning.
Then I was in mummy’s tummy. I also saw
the other children. I looked out, where the
navel is, through the small window (the solar plexus).”
hildren seek out their parents. It’s
never a matter of chance as to which child
comes to which parents. The children accept
a mission with their parents just as the parents recognize the task of bringing up their
children. Anyone with children knows that
the learning process works both ways.
Elfriede Volkhart: “A seven-year old girl
mentioned that she had sought out her family specially because in a previous life she
had quarrelled constantly with her mother,
who had then been her sister. They had left
each other at daggers drawn. The sister then
died, and they were unable to be reconciled.
Even on her deathbed, she had sent malicious thoughts out to her sister.
“She had now sought this person out as
her mother in order to learn how to cope
with tough situations. I then asked her why
she had to depart this life so early. She was
seven years old and suffered from a brain tumour. She replied: ‘Well, I’ve done my job
now. I gave my mother the love that I had to
give her, and she knows that too.’ She
knows it too? ‘Yes, she knows it. I have
given my mother everything that I could.
She also told all her neighbours and everyone what a good child I am. It was sometimes very very hard. But I managed it.’ She
then added that she had been a very temperamental child who had even thrown cups
and plates around. During these outbursts
she had then suddenly recalled, but only in
the form of a command, that she should be
good. Only shortly before her death did her
former life dawn on her. Her mother confirmed that the girl was previously very easily roused to anger. Then she had suddenly
changed. She even felt it was at the moment
when the child noticed that she was sick.”
Another child, who was merely in hospital for appendicitis, also had an instant
recognition of an earlier life, noted Elfriede
Volkhart. “A three year old girl, blonde with
blue eyes, with many dolls on her bed. She
had had a serious argument with her mother
and behaved in a very stubborn and mulish
way. Her mother then threatened her by saying: ‘If you don’t behave, there really will
be trouble!’ Then the child screamed at her:
‘You have no right at all to tell me anything,
after all Isought you out. You used to be my
servant, and you will now serve me in the
same way again!’ The mother was quite
gobsmacked and left without a word. A
short while afterwards the girl recalled
nothing of her outburst.”
eincarnation is a fact. Children know
it. A five-year old girl said: “Do you know
what happens to people who die? They go
back into mummies and become a baby
again.” A three-year old said: “When we get
old, we die, go to heaven and become a baby
Why should we be unable to do what a
tulip bulb does every springtime without
fail? How could there be a God of justice if
he granted us only a single life – as a beggar
in one case and a king in another? Those
who believe in the Bible should know that it
also acknowledged the fact of reincarnation
until the relevant references were removed
from it at the Fifth Council of Constantinople in 553 AD. A couple of places were
overlooked, however. They still clearly indicate that reincarnation was a generally
recognized fact in the time of Jesus. How
would Jesus otherwise have spoken of John
the Baptist as the Elias who is come again?
reviously, when I was big…” is a
phrase that is often heard from young children. Elfriede Volkhart heard it for the first
time many years ago. “The parents usually
tell the child: ‘now listen, you have never
been big, you have always been as you are
now.’” But a five-year old boy stuck to his
conviction. She asked him how he got the
idea. “Well”, he replied, “I used to be big
before and lived in a great big house with
many children. I had my problems with all
those children. And then I died. I got really
sick. I had a thick lump in my chest, and then
I could no longer get any air and died.”
For children, the rhythm of coming-intobeing and passing away is as natural as
breathing in and out. They still know instinctively that life is no more than a process
of being breathed out and ‘death’
no more than being breathed in
again by a higher world, the
world of reality. It is like a wave
that is cast onto the shore and
then returns to the infinite sea.
Suns breathe planets in and
out again, planets breathe human beings in and out, human
beings breathe electrons in and
out. “Later, when we are big,
you are small, and when you are
big again, we are small” said a
young child.
“Daddy, when I was big and
you were small, you always sat
on my lap. When I was daddy,
you were still a child. I have
sought out a good mummy,
haven’t I?” said a three-year old
boy, and a five-year old girl
made the following unusual
declaration of love: “Nana, I
love you so, when I come back I
will be your father.”
Many children are not at all
pleased when their parents try to
convince them that they had not
yet existed before their birth.
Many begin to cry, become angry
or correct their parents. They
know that they have always existed, even before they appeared
on their family photos. “I saw
you long ago from the air and
wanted to be with you”, said a two-year old.
Another child of the same age put it like this:
“At that time I hovered around you,
Mummy.” Another child saw his mother’s
wedding dress and said: “I was there. I stood
at the window.” The child, who was born
nine months after the wedding, was deeply
hurt that people simply laughed at his words.
n their book Children that time forgot
Peter and Mary Anderson tell the following
story: Mandy, a young girl, had never been
told by her parents that she had actually had
a sister who had died before she was born.
As they passed the graveyard, she called
out: “Look, Mummy, that’s where you put
me in the ground. You almost fell on top of
me.” Her mother remembered at that moment that she had almost slipped on the wet
ground. “Why did you cry so much when I
died? You surely know that when I was very
small I was very weak and simply could not
live long. Now I have come back. I am
Mandy the second.” She also mentioned a
silver bracelet and a yellow ball that had
been laid in the grave. Another time she
said: “Do you remember the big star the
evening of my death?” The mother thought
back and recalled that as she was drawing
the curtains she saw a remarkable large star,
bigger than all the others. “That was my star,
a sign that I would return. I felt that I already
knew mummy and daddy.”
“I once asked a four-year old boy with
whom I had already had many long talks
about dying whether he wasn’t sad that he
had to die now”, says Elfriede Volkhart. “He
merely looked at me with big eyes.”
on’t you know that nothing lasts for
ever?’ I was quite taken aback. ‘Where did
you read that?’ I asked him. ‘But you know
that I can’t read’, he pointed out. I said that
it sounded quite as if he had got it from
somewhere. We then spoke a little about
lasting for ever, and he said: ‘Look, it’s like
with a tree. A tree loses its leaves. It loses
most of them in the autumn. But it also loses
a couple in spring. And I shall be going in
the spring.’ I then said: ‘So, oh, but that’s a
great comfort to me’, and he felt that I ought
not take it so tragically. I joked: ‘You know,
if you were already an old codger, but as a
four-year old…’ – and he said simply, ‘I
don’t want to become an old
codger. I have done what I came
to do.’ I was quite amazed.
‘What did a young lad like you
come to do?’ – ‘Well, I told my
friend that he was a dummy. I
told my sister that she ought to
be nicer to daddy. And I taught
my mummy by the way in which
I – um – was not always very
nice, that she would have to pull
herself together. Yes indeed, she
is always so uncontrolled. It’s
not at all good the way she treats
my sister.’”
Isn’t it amazing how even
very small children can be so
aware of a task that’s been entrusted to them? They feel – or
know – that they enter a schoolroom through birth, a place
where more intensive learning
is on the agenda.
A seven-year old boy told with
great enthusiasm of where he had
lived before coming to the earth,
and how it had felt. He claimed to
come from another planet: “I
flew around a curve. Then I entered my mother. I could see it so
clearly. You simply jump in. I
simply flew to earth. There on the
other earth it was warm and not
cold. Inside and all around was
light everywhere.
“I had wanted us to be three children, and
that’s how it was. There were many angels
around me. A man was there too, whom I
didn’t know at all. This man was himself an
angel, and I did not know him. Then I met a
woman, who was also an angel. She said to
me: ‘You will be born on the earth, and not
on the planet where you are now.’ Now I
have really been born here. She showed me
the way.
“Where a rope has been tied, that’s where
you can fly to. Whizz, that’s how I came.
Mother was here in bed. I simply followed
the rope. Whizz. But it didn’t make any
sense yet. I returned to the planet to see what
everything looked like.
“At the very last moment I came. I knew
that I had been born. I slipped out. I didn’t
really want to be born. I had no name. When
I was zero years old, I had just come down
from heaven, I had no wish to come to earth.
Up there everything is bright, only white
coats and no houses and suchlike.”
The young boy speaks of the silver cord,
an endlessly extendable thread of energy
that was the connection between his higher
eternal self and the small baby
body that was forming in
mummy’s tummy. There, where
the rope had been tied, is where
he had to incarnate.
the parents had separated or it was apparent
that they would do so. Or if the parents harboured strong feelings of rejection against
the child or thought only of their careers and
wanted the child only for reasons of prestige
or to keep them company after work.
ometimes, when children suffer terribly from not being accepted they choose the
t’s all merely a question of
our point of view. What we
regard as the joyful event of
birth is, for the arriving life
stream, only too often a painful
departure (a kind of ‘death’)
from a lofty and much more
pleasant world down to the
classroom of earth, where the
task is to learn and grow spiritually. So it’s not really surprising
that some life streams will
always find it hard to truly live
this physical life, with all the
difficulties that await them.
There is no question for Elfriede Volkhart that the muchfeared sudden infant death
syndrome where babies are suddenly found dead in their cots in
the first year of life without any
obvious physical reason, is
often simply an expression of
the difficulties encountered by
the little being in accepting and
living this life. They simply
steal away from it. During sleep
they make their way back to the
higher worlds in any case, and
when they decide one day to no
longer return to their small
body, the silver cord is cut and
the baby dies.
“I have seen many dead babies on the
intensive-care unit that doctors had tried to
resuscitate, mostly without success. In many
cases, these children had been born prematurely, i.e. the life stream had to come to the
world too early and failed to cope with the
situation. Sometimes, their bodies were deformed, frequently there were babies with a
weakened immune system.” In other cases,
conditions had changed so much between
the moment of conception and birth, that the
life stream felt that it would be unable to fulfil its divine plan for this life. For instance, if
path of sickness in order to finish with this
life. Suicide is the most frequent cause of
death among children after accidents. And
that does not include all those cases in which
the child chooses a sickness in order to
depart this life.
“A five and a half year old girl had bone
cancer”, recalls Elfriede Volkhart, “that was
already at an advanced stage. Even before
anyone even suspected it, she had said that
a black animal was growing inside her, in
her lower back. One day I asked her whether
it hurt. ‘No, it doesn’t hurt, but it’s always
there, and it sees to it that I must soon go.’
That was at a time that it was not yet certain
that the child would die. ‘Why do you say
that you have to go so soon?’ I asked. ‘It’s
hard to say, I don’t know exactly, but I have
the feeling that the animal will finally gain
the upper hand.’” Elfriede Volkhart asked
her whether both of them together could
fight the beast and muzzle it so that it could
no longer devour her? “No, you’re not
strong enough for that”, was the
reply. And she really didn’t want
to defeat the beast at all. Why,
Elfriede Volkhart wanted to
know. “My mummy can’t give
me what would keep me in life.”
Asked what this might be, the
five-year old replied: “First of
all, she would have to love me
and keep me and bring me up the
whole time.” So didn’t she feel
that her mother loved her? “No,
she much prefers the others.”
Elfriede Volkhart then learnt
that the girl had been adopted
against her mother’s wishes in a
house where there were also
natural children. She may have
been her father’s child born out
of wedlock, and the ‘betrayed’
mother was unable to love this
child too. “If I am no use to anyone in the world, it’s better that
I go”, she said to the nurse.
Children choose the illness,
but not consciously. It’s often
a result of psychological influences, sadness and stress.
Elfriede Volkhart also saw a
number of cases where children
had tried to bring arguing or separating parents back together
through their illness. “Many
children say outright that they
got sick to prevent their parents
from divorcing.” She tells of the
little intimidated boy with
tonsillitis who painted all his
drawings exclusively with black
crayons despite having a full
range of coloured crayons in his box. His
parents rarely visited him, and if they did,
then separately. His aunt finally told him
that his parents were in process of divorcing, both went out with new partners and the
boy feared being sent away to an orphanage.
ome children are even aware of using
sickness as a solution to their problems. A
14-year old girl suffered a tenfold bone fracture from what seemed a harmless fall from
a ladder. No-one could explain how it had
come about. The girl then confided to Sister
Elfriede that she was terribly afraid of
failing at school, and that she had to make
herself seriously ill in order to work through
everything she had missed. The pressure to
perform was too great and to simply admit
everything would have meant a major loss
of prestige. During the months in the hospital, she worked through everything in peace
– and ultimately passed the test that she had
Another boy suffering from cancer
already told Elfriede Volkhart in their first
talk that, “I can no longer stay at home.”
Gradually the ten-year old explained that he did not see the
slightest chance of changing
anything at home. “No-one listens to me, in any case I just get
trampled on. If my parents could
do something positive for once.
Be it only through my death.”
The doctors, who by that time
knew that such statements by
children are to be taken seriously,
arranged a talk with the parents.
With no success. The parents
pretended that everything was
just fine, that the boy was lying,
was merely jealous of his brother
and rebelled inwardly. “I told
you from the beginning there’s
nothing more to be done”, he
then said. And when Elfriede
Volkhart wanted to cheer him
up—“Come, we can surely find
other solutions”—he remained
obdurate: “It’s not my job to find
other solutions. I can only get
them to reflect on things in this
way.” The boy died shortly afterwards.
case in which they had failed to announce
this in an encoded way. A girl suddenly began to clear up all her toys and to tell her
mother where everything could be found, as
there was such a mess in her room that her
mother would surely no longer find anything when she herself was no longer there.
Her mother then told her not to talk such
nonsense. Six months later the girl was dead.
Other children paint graves all the time, or
have death play a part in their games.”
Obviously we cannot expect a child to
open up and speak more clearly if we had
not previously listened to him and had lied
p to the age of about nine,
children usually know at the beginning of a sickness that something is happening in their bodies. ‘Something is gnawing in me’, they might say, or
mention before an accident—‘I knew it, it
had to happen, because I was so stupid in my
head’. They also know—like every living
being incidentally—that they must die when
their time comes. For these children it is
extremely trying to have to keep up appearances in front of their parents of something
that they know does not accord with the
truth. To have to act as if there was nothing
wrong, as if they were healthy, especially in
front of mummy and daddy, makes a child
very lonely.
“Children always make it known when
they are seriously ill. I have never known a
your life and enjoy each day.” And he
added: “You must be brave, but not only
when I’m dead, but so you can live during
the time still left to me and enjoy each
day.” She ought to show courage now.
Afterwards, he would no longer benefit
from it.
The boy was fully aware of how adults
see the matter: that it’s easier for them to
mourn than to be joyful. That they say: ‘Oh,
if only it could already be over’—instead of
feeling joy in every precious moment that is
still left to them.
to him. “It is also important to use appropriate language when talking to him, i.e. not to
say: ‘You’ve got a tumour in your head and
you will be dead the day after tomorrow’.
We can also ask them how they think the
illness will resolve itself.”
A great problem for terminally sick children is their parents’ sadness. “A boy once
said: ‘If only they were not so sad. What
makes us so sad for the grownups is not that
we have to die, but that they do not live’.”
That the grownups don’t actually know how
to deal with life. The nine-year old boy said
to his mother. “I want you to enjoy the wonders of the world afterwards too, just like
you are now doing with me, to continue
mother whose baby had
died was distraught for so long
that her marriage collapsed and
she needed psychiatric care. She
then went on to have another
child with her boyfriend. When
the child was about two years
old, she lay down in the living
room for an afternoon nap. Suddenly the door opened and she
heard—patter, patter, patter—
how soft steps approached her
and something grasped her hand.
It felt like the small soft hand of a
child. But there was no child to
be seen! She could clearly feel
the hand, although it was not
physical. She felt a wave of comfort flooding over her. Patter,
patter, patter, she heard the steps
again, and the living-room door
closed quietly. “The same thing
was repeated several times”, she
later told Elfriede Volkhart. “I
think that my dead child came
back to tell me that all is well.
That I have mourned enough and
ought to start enjoying life
After the funeral of a child, the
parents ought to turn back to face
life—even though this might
seem hard. If they fail to do so, they hold
their deceased child back with their mourning and make it difficult for him to enjoy the
happiness of the other world and to go on to
learn. It may be a comfort to them that death
does not exist as the end, a great black abyss,
and that their child is certainly happy and
well looked after in its new abode. And on
top of that: by letting go, we allow the same
life stream to return. Perhaps back to our
own family, but perhaps also—if the child
has accomplished his mission there, somewhere else. No child belongs to us. If we really think of his well-being, we ought not be
sad for an entire lifetime! After all, there is
more life in death than death in life.