My children know about death and they understand is that good or bad

(14 Posts)
leenasmom Wed 17-Dec-08 15:00:23

I lost my father when I was pregnant with my 1st child dd. and so when she was born i was still greiving for my father who i was very close too.. i made weekly trips to the cemetary to sit and i dont know try to find peace...this was with my dd in tow... so both my dc are aware that i visit my dads grave...and when they would ask why we are there as they grew older.. i told them... dd knows that is where my dad is buried and his soul is in heaven with the angels... the thing is that she sometime scares me in her way of thinking and i think i am to blame...she knew at the age of 4 that the dead do not return as she would ask me why my dad never visited i told her that we will meet him in heaven...because of this it was hard for me to see her when we lost our pet lovebirds... it was not an option to replace them as my friends did with her childrens goldfishes... i would have loved to have a pet in the family but the idea of them dying is scaring me as my daughter was very upset when the pair dead.
what could i say now or is the damage done>>im not one to hide the truth to my dc when they ask and im not usually good at explainig it to a child... like when there was a story on the news about firefighters dying in a blaze and i tried to explain that these men had chose this dangeroous job to save others and bless her heart every time she sees the firefighters(live near a station) she is like thank you for savig us...

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DLI Wed 17-Dec-08 17:49:02

my friend's husband died when her children were about five or six and they saw a psychologist. The psychologist used a butterfly to explain death and the stages it goes through and how when it dies it becomes part of the earth and helps other things be born/grow (basically to you and me it fertilises everything). She did have a book but i cannot remember what is was called. There is also the query you can put to her that if no one died the world would be overcrowded. People dying means that when you go to heaven there is something to look forward to - seeing people you havent seen in a long time.

TheSeriousSanta Wed 17-Dec-08 18:31:47

My parents used to take me and my sister to the family graveyard for picnics shock

Seriously, my fathers family and mother family are all buried in the same graveyard in southern Ireland and my mum used to take us on little excursions to other parts of the graveyard to see various ancestors.

I don't think it's ever really affected me (but I am very concious of death, IYSWIM, which I am not sure is a good thing) and I also have no fear of graveyards, even after dark, which freaks my DSD2 out LOADS as I used to make her walk through a graveyard in the dark when we were walking our DDog. It did strike me then that my comfortable-ness (is that a word) in graveyards was probably a bit weird.

But, seriously, we have photos of us having picnics on my Grandad's grave and it never seemed odd at all. In fact, my grandad would love to think of us having a good time with him. He was such a lovely, lovely man (though he would probably have prefered it if we'd brought gin!!! grin)

But, I do think I probably think about death more than your average 30 something....

ladylush Wed 17-Dec-08 18:33:48

I think children are probably more accepting of the concept of death than many adults.

leenasmom Wed 17-Dec-08 18:48:58

@serioussanta ... that is how it is now 7 yrs on from dad dying if it is sunny(very rare here at the moment) i would be like lets go see dad... kids dont like it as i dont like them running around there but they dont complain ... the graves on either side of my dad have not got a grave stone so the children sometimes walk over them and i dont like that at... they help pick out plants to plant there and help with washing the flower pots out and all...its part of out Eid ritual... we dont start celebrating until we (all us siblings ) meet at dads grave and then the parties begin...they know this and bless her this year she made a note of it in her school activity book for what she did for Eid where other children stated they had lovely foods /clothese pressies>>>

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leenasmom Wed 17-Dec-08 18:51:29

oh and she knows about a butterfly because that was something that i didnt like it living for one day... and that story about it helping other things .. i like as say to her that the butterfly did make children /adults smile at its beauty even if it were for a day>>>.

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BlackLetterDay Wed 17-Dec-08 20:18:10

I don't think its bad at all, children will come to realise that death is permanent with or without your help or the exposure that somebody close dying brings. I always remember laying in bed one night (must of been about 5 or maybe older) and realising that everybody dies including me and my parents, I will always remember feeling so angry, furious in fact that this was the case.

But then again I was an odd child and have always been a little bit morbid. I often think of death and dying (aged 27). Maybe due to my Mother dying 18 months ago and my Father dying when I was 15. I am acutely aware that life is fragile and nothing can be taken for granted.

leenasmom Thu 18-Dec-08 11:40:33

By BlackLetterDay :But then again I was an odd child and have always been a little bit morbid.

By TheSeriousSanta :But, I do think I probably think about death more than your average 30 something....

so does this mean my dd will grow up to think about death more/morbid..you both are alright though arent you?

she has problems at school and is always negative in everything... i dont want her to grow up to be i dont know not happy i think... i know i cant control the future but now i try to make her happy and have nice memories of her childhood as i did but i find her hard work

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AnAngelWithin Thu 18-Dec-08 11:44:10

my dh was sheltered from death when he was young. as a result, when his nan died when he was 26, he just lost it. He said, he didn't know how to deal with it. However, I on the other hand, have had very young experiences of death. We have brought our dcs up being open about death and answered any questions they have on it as best as we can. We have had pets that have died and 3 of the dcs understand about it (dd2 is only 3 and not experienced any death yet though)

travellingwilbury Thu 18-Dec-08 16:46:32

My 4 yr old probably knows too much about death as I lost my first son when he was 14 mths old and although my other two ds weren't around then they see photos of him and ask questions . I just try to answer as honesty as I can and to try and keep it appropriate for age but it is hard .

There is a book called Waterbugs and dragonflies which I think explains it quite well .

shitehawk Thu 18-Dec-08 16:55:17

Dd asked about death when she was about three - my mother's dog died. She has always been very accepting and matter-of-fact about it.

My advice would be:-

Say nothing unless they ask.

When they ask, just answer the question they have asked and nothing more. Make sure your answers are age-appropriate.

Don't expose them to any more death and destruction than you have to - sounds silly, but I mean don't watch a lot of news programmes while they is there, for example. There is time enough for the grim realities of life when they are older.

hazygirl Thu 18-Dec-08 17:42:25

travellingwilbury i was just gonna say that,we were told about it when our little man died, my five year old granddaughter is bad when anyone is ill,are they going to die.we have done the walk for cot death twice ,but when my friend died she said oh do i have to do long walk again ,so worry maybe we should be more careful with her around

Gorionine Thu 18-Dec-08 17:58:01

DH lost his parents when he was still a child, when we go on holiday in his home country, we do visit his parents grave as a family. The first time we went, DH was crying silently and DS2 (5 at the time) started to ask a lot of questions about death and to which we tried to answer truthfully but in simple enough words for him to understand. I noticed that he was finding it harder to cope with the fact that his dad had been an orphan than the fact that people die.

Dh also lost a baby brother (before DH was born) and DS2 is named after him and knows it.When we where on another visit to Dh parents grave, he asked "why do we never visit uncle...'s grave?" To which DH had to explain that he had been burried in a very different part of the country and he was not sure exactly where. DD2 was heartbrocken to think that nobody goes and visits him. I think we do not give enough credit to children and try to protect them of our own fear sometimes.

leenasmom Thu 18-Dec-08 19:42:20

thank you for all your views these dc are very perspective but as parents we do want to shield them... the thing about the news was only on because this firefighter fatality was in our region so could only catch the full coverage on the local news(on when the dc want to watch there telly) but yes i do try to be careful with morbid tv news but its around us ppl have died close to there dads family and mine...its only when its my dad i think like Gorionine its the thought of my not having my dad as they have a great dad that they rely on very much and love.

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