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explaining death to a 3 year old

(4 Posts)
everythingisonmurtaghlist Thu 31-Jul-14 06:29:48

Sorry if this is the wrong place to post. My gran has been taken into hospital suddenly and we've been told she may not pull through. To be fair we have been told this the last 3/4 times she's been taken in but as she is over 100 with various health conditions it's getting harder and harder for her to fight things off.

my 3 year old adores her great gran and I want to prepare her for the inevitable so it's not such a big shock but don't know how to go about it. My dns were all older when my mum died so could understand more.

Also she goes to hospital quite a bit herself just now so want to avoid making it sound that when you go into hospital you don't come home. And we're atheists so angels/heaven wouldn't be appropriate.

thank you so much

OpiesOldLady Thu 31-Jul-14 06:52:48

My eldest son was three when my husband died suddenly.

Explaining that he'd died was one of the hardest thing I've ever done, but I believe in being age appropriately truthful with children.

I told him that sometimes when a persons body gets very very ill, it gets so ill it cannot make itself better again - not like we can if we have a cold or tonsillitis or something - and when it gets so ill it can't make itself better anymore then the persons body dies. I explained that we're very sad because dying means that we can't see that person ever again, but although the persons body might be dead, what we felt for that person, the love that we shared and the happiness they gave us and we gave them will always be there for us to remember them.

I'm not particularly religious and this approach seemed to work well for us all.

everythingisonmurtaghlist Thu 31-Jul-14 07:18:39

That's lovely opies

TheCunkOfPhilomena Tue 12-Aug-14 14:59:53

I did similar earlier this year when a much loved elderly friend died Opies. My DS, 3, had been to visit her in hospital a few times before she died. I am an atheist too and didn't want the heaven and angels stuff.

He saw me crying after I returned from the hospital after being with her when she died and we had a cuddle and I said that her body was so poorly and tired that she had died. He asked what 'died' is and I said that it is when someone goes away forever and we can't see them anymore but we can still talk about them and love them. He seemed satisfied with that.

everythingison I hope that you are okay thanks

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