Students Build Coffin for Dying Teacher.

A Dutch primary school teacher has a strange and poignant final project for her class:

Eri van den Biggelaar, 40, has just a few weeks to live after being diagnosed last year with an aggressive form of cervical cancer.

She asked the woodwork teacher, a friend, to build a coffin for her. "Why don't you let the children make it?" replied Erik van Dijk.

Now pupils of the school in Someren, who normally plane wood for baskets and placemats, have been helping with the finishing touches. They have already sawed more than 100 narrow boards and glued them together. Only the lid needs to be completed.

Link - via Spluch


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to yuck: What is sick about it? What do you tell your four-year old when he begins to grapple with the concept of death? How would these children deal with losing their dear teacher suddenly if there was a cover-up or taboo?
4 is NOT too young. They can start coping with their sadness right away, instead of later, and get a great view of serene dying- not up close, of course.
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Ginger: "We should all be so lucky to have our coffins made by people we love and who love us. I would not be opposed to my children participating in such a project."

Wow, very true. Great comment. I agree 100%

I toy a little with woodworking. I'm no carpeter for sure, but I would be moved beyond belief if any of my dear loved ones ever asked me to build them a coffin. I couldn't imagine the power of that gift.
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What a beautiful gift she is giving those children. The death of someone close to you can make you feel powerless, especially if you are a child. By allowing them to participate in the "process" she is giving them a small measure of control over the situation. What a great teacher. There should be more like her, not less. I'm sure she will be missed by many.
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