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How do I reassure a 5 year old about death(9 Posts)
This seems a strange thing to be asking but we are currently having a really rough time of it as we have had 4 family deaths within the space of 5 weeks.
My ds is only aware of 3 of them as the 4th was my great uncle, but the other three were my grandad and my dh's aunt who my ds knew well and the last is my aunt who he doesn't know.
I'm worried that all we keep doing is talking about the death of someone and he keeps seeing us dressed for the funerals. Thankfully we haven't had to take him to the funerals, although he was at the house for dh's aunt funeral and the casket was there too.
He now looks worried and keeps asking why people keep dying and who is going to die next. I've told him this is not a normal thing and that he doesn't need to worry, but he is a sensitive little lad and I don't want it to play on his mind.
I'd be grateful for any advice at all. Thanks Beks
Hey Beksmum, I want to give you my condolences first. What a sh** time you must be having, sorry! When my Ma died, the son of friends (5 at the time) who did not know her soooo well was really sad that she was gone (still is 2 years afterwards). The parents talked to him (as did I) and told him that sometimes people have to die because they are sick (my Ma's case) or old or both and that sometimes it just happens (did not go on too much about that one as not to worry him too much) but that this does not mean every body has to die young and usually people live to reach old age (should have been in case of your great uncle, granddad?). Maybe you can tell him that it is really seldom that several people we know die at the same time and that you will do your best you can do to stay with him for a long time. I know you can't promise that, but I found it best to be honest with kids because they just KNOW when you are not. Wish you good luck!
I am sorry that you have had such a rough time in such a few short weeks.
One thing that may help is reassuring your son that death actually is normal - its part of the cycle of life and will happen to us all. Sometimes the pain we feel as those that are left to grieve is shared, sometimes we like to think about the person and all the memories we have by ourselves, sometimes just a hug is nice.
Being open and honest will let him know that its ok to talk about it if it does play on his mind.
What a bloody awful time - you poor things.
Frog and the birdsong by Max Veldthuijs is a great story - very simple but lots of possibility for talking about what happens and how memories are important. Lots of reassurance really at that age and an understanding that grieving is a very different (though equally as important) experience for children. HTH xx
linjasmom, squidette & belgianEASTERbunny, thank you so much for your advice and kind thoughts, all you've said makes perfect sense and I will keep talking to my ds.
Unfortunately his dad and I grieve in very different ways, I cry, but my husband doesn't do anything and carries on as normal which I personally think is pretty weird. However, if this is how he copes then who am I to criticise. I just don't want my two boys not to know how to grieve, so as you all say talking is probably the best way through this.
Thanks again and heres to happy times ahead.
I lost a child 13years ago, he was at that time my only child. Alot of people sent me books on grief etc, and out of all I read, one little book that is actually aimed at children, brought me the comfort and hope that I needed. It is called
Water Bugs and Dragonflies
explaining death to children
by Doris Stickney
I hope that helps, xxxx
Its funny you should talk about Annies Song. It is a favourite of mine, and we had it played on our wedding day whilst we were signing the register. Matthew, my beautiful son that died, learnt to play it on the keyboard, and every year we and some friends used to go to the New Forest for a long w/end, the kids would put on a concert for us and at the end they would play Annies Song to thank me for organizing the w/end. Matthew played keyboard, Lucy the violin and Anna the flute. It always makes me feel sad now when I hear it.