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Explaining death to child

(10 Posts)
MrsEms Sun 09-Apr-17 22:50:45


We have just had a close family member pass away this evening.
We have lost a pet in the past but DD was younger so didn't really ask questions but just wondering how best to ask questions when we tell her this person is no longer here and so we wont be able to visit them anymore.

LovingLola Sun 09-Apr-17 22:58:04

Am very sorry for your for your loss. May your loved one rest in peace.
How old is your child?
We have had several losses in my family when my children were younger - I found that being honest with them was the best thing as in telling them that they won't see them again.
Don't tell them that the person fell asleep and didn't wake up (you don't want them to be afraid of going to sleep).

MrsEms Sun 09-Apr-17 23:07:21

Hi, thank you.
Almost 6
They have been poorly for a good few months so she is aware they were quite ill and we kind of said they may go to heaven soon to which DD said oh like the dog and then we never see them again but now its happened I'm not quite sure what she will ask and how we should tell her other than they were too poorly to stay here.

Thingywhatsit Sun 09-Apr-17 23:09:08

Condolences to you and your family. Was your dd very close to the family member?
Think it is best to be honest, but on a level with their ages. Having lost my grandmother only a few weeks ago me and my now teen ds were discussing this only last week. We lost my other grandmother 2 months before he turned 5, he remembers a lot of it. We took his lead. We explained how she had gone to heaven and he made up how it happened and what happened to her after death - it became quite an elaborate story which involved trapdoors and cannons in the grave - but it helped him deal with it.

Thingywhatsit Sun 09-Apr-17 23:15:01

Cross post , I think at 6, although they will be upset they will overcome that quicker than an elder child. But they will still have memories of your loved one.

But every child is unique, so I think explaining it to them in a way you know they will understand will help. And just answer all their questions as honestly as you can or in a way that obscures the truth if you know they won't understand, It's hard to know what's right sometimes.

For instance my son understood nan was in heaven as she was old now, and when he was older he would go to heaven and see her there, but couldn't understand why being buried got her to heaven which he believes is in the sky.

maisybobbins Sun 09-Apr-17 23:16:31

We lost my dad when DD was 6. She understood and was really really sad as we all were. She wanted to talk about him all the time which I found difficult. I think it helped her to go to the funeral and light a candle.

Sorry for whatever you're going through.

MrsEms Sun 09-Apr-17 23:17:18

Yes, fairly close.
Thank you

Neolara Sun 09-Apr-17 23:21:42

Sorry for your loss.

This book is suitable for explaining death in a straitforward way to a nearly 6 year old.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sun 09-Apr-17 23:22:05

Dd1 was nearly six when we lost DMil to cancer. We were straight with her. We said Nanny was just too poorly and her body was just too worn out. We told her Nanny had gone up to heaven to live in a star and would keep watch over her every night while she slept. Worked for us.

We had a lot of tears when we first told her Nanny had died. They were very close. Then we would just talk about it whenever dd wanted to. She's ten now and since then we've lost Fil and our dog too, not to mention several people in our village, including a lovely teacher from school. Unfortunately she seems to be growing up perfectly used to losing people.

Sorry for your loss. Hope your dd is ok. flowers

MrsEms Sun 09-Apr-17 23:30:51

Thank you all.
The dog is a star in the sky so was thinking of saying this again but wasn't sure.
Not looking forward to morning.

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