What to say to dd about death of my own mother.

(4 Posts)
Besom Mon 02-May-11 18:08:42

DD is 3 yo and she didn't know my mum but is beginning to ask about her and where she has gone. My dad told her she'd gone to heaven but I'm not religious and neither was my mum so it doesn't seem appropriate to me to say that. What can I say though?

I worry that it'll make her anxious about what could happen to me, but maybe I can't avoid this? Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

OP’s posts: |
RuthChan Mon 02-May-11 18:37:02

My mum died when I was 15. Therefore, obviously, neither of my DCs ever met her, although there is a photo in our sitting room.
The simple truth that I tell my DCs is that she died a long time ago. They accept this, but sometimes ask for more information. DD knows that she was ill, but that she wasn't very old.
They ask the questions that occur to them at the time, but they are not bothered or upset by it.
They accept death as being the end of life and that after that the person is no longer around, they are in a grave. Both DCs have been to my mum's grave and laid flowers for her.

I am not religious either. I haven't talked to them about heaven, except when actually answering questions about where God lives.
My DD (4.5) is very interested in death and wants to understand it, so she sometimes asks questions, but it doesn't scare or upset her.

My father remarried after my mother's death. My children therefore have 'granny and granddad' but I am also determined that they should know about 'mummy's mummy' and that she should not be forgotten.

With regards to them worrying about what will happen to me, DD does not worry. She knows that everyone dies and she knows that people become skeletons after they die, but I reassure that I will not die for a long time to come and that is enough for her at the moment.

Besom Wed 04-May-11 07:13:49

Thank you Ruth for your thoughtful post. This is how I instinctively thought I should handle it so helpful to hear from someone who has already dealt with this. I'll just be open but reassuring with her as you are describing.

OP’s posts: |
RuthChan Wed 04-May-11 10:25:41

Glad to be of help.
As far as my DD has been, (DS is only 2.5 so he hasn't talked much about it yet) she accepts death and shows interest, but doesn't get upset about it.
I think honesty and openness is the best way to deal with it.
I don't think 'protecting' them or hiding it from them helps because at some stage they have to know the truth and it will be more of a shock.
Children seem to cope with just about anything as long as it is presented in a careful and honest way.

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