How do we explain death to a child?

Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.  – Irish prayer

We must all acknowledge our fate … But accepting it is the challenge…

As adults we are faced with the concept of death almost daily – just watching the nightly news is enough!

But how do we explain death of a close relative to our children.

When my father passed away after a hard battle with cancer we had to explain why we wouldn’t see him anymore to my then 6 year old son.

Why Jeddo (as he used to call him) wouldn’t be coming and bringing him chocolate Kit Kats and telling him funny stories of when I was young.

So how was I going to tell him grandpa was gone?

I googled and searched articles on what I could say and how – each giving their opinion on what should be said and how – but what they all agreed upon was on ultimate requirement : HONESTY

So I took a deep breath and began preparing.

I chose to get some help from our friends at Walt Disney – and who better to help me in my dilemma other than the Circle of life story of the Lion King.

Dad

I read the story to him as our normal bedtime story routine – when Mufasa’s death came I elaborated on how even though his body was still on earth his spirit had risen to the heavens …

I was further helped to visualize when he appeared in the sky to speak to Simba.

Thank you Disney for this…

Once the story ended and the circle of life was further elaborated – somehow I personally began  to feel a little better.

The next day, we sat my son down and explained to him that his Jeddo had passed away. I waited for the reaction and it was smooth. He smiled and said “now he will be watching us from the sky?”

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Unlike a Disney tale – we will not “live happily ever after” so I will continue to explain, answer questions about death for many months and years to come… all we can do is answer and console them in any way we can.

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Dear moms, not all children will react the same way … But I hope this could help you open the communication with your children when an unfortunate incident may happen.
We need to be careful that our children do not fear death or be haunted by the notion that it may take them or anyone they love away.
Listen and answer any questions they may have… even months after… 
Death is a difficult subject that even we as adults still can’t grasp. We mourn the death of the ones passed, but the biggest mourning is our ultimate fate.
Enjoy life mom – make it each second count …
papa
Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

 


GOOD LUCK SUPER MOMS! 


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