Memento Mori (Remember You Must Die) — November, All Souls Month, is a great time to teach kids about the Catholic perspective on death.
These fun, family-friendly films can encourage kids not to be afraid of death and help them understand grieving and loss on this side of Heaven.
A young boy falls into the afterlife of Mexican folklore and returns to Earth with a deeper understanding of his family history.
The film addresses death in a lighthearted manner, depicting the afterlife as a joyful place where his deceased relatives are all together. It also depicts the peaceful death of a relative and takes grief seriously while staying focused on the joy of life.
While it is not a strictly Catholic depiction of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, Coco encourages us to treasure our family members’ memory and celebrate their lives.
Tuck Everlasting (2002)
Based on a book of the same name, this film depicts the Tuck family and the girl who discovers their magical immortality. The Tucks praise how precious life is when it’s short, and greatly value naturally aging and dying.
Good for older children and teens, it is a beautifully made film that poses the question: “What if we could live forever?”
A little boy helps an old widower not to cling to the past, and to be able to find new happiness after his wife dies.
Paired with a renowned soundtrack and cute animation, this film portrays the devastation and loneliness of grief in a way kids can understand. It also stresses the importance of connections with other people to help speed healing.
Up helps kids understand what grief can look like and encourages them to help others heal.
Bridge to Terabithia (2007)
Two misfits become best friends, but when one dies, the boy must learn how to keep his friend’s memory alive. Over the course of his healing, his friend’s impact on him and his family transforms them all.
This film beautifully depicts the way those who have passed can love and help us from Heaven, and it may also be healing for kids who have recently suffered loss.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Part thriller, part mystery, this story follows a boy who can see the dead, and the psychologist who tries to help him. It encounters death in a way that both acknowledges the fear surrounding it and explores the possibilities of redemption and healing.
Appropriate for teens and young adults, Catholics can connect Gifts of the Holy Spirit with the boy’s experience, as discernment of spirits and the ability to see souls in need of prayer are both fully present in the Church today.
And, a bonus:
Hour of Our Death (2022)
If you are interested in the ministry to the sick and dying in real life, Family Theater Production’s recent short film is a look into the renowned religious order The Little Sisters of the Poor, and their work to bring souls to Christ in the last years of their lives.
Watch the film below; learn more about it here.
And remember, tempus fugit (time flies)!
Sophia Treece is a Los Angeles native working in the pro-life movement. She loves Eucharistic Adoration, making music, and hitting the beaches in her spare time.