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2 year old seems completely unaffected by uncles death

(9 Posts)
LissyGlitter Wed 02-Sep-09 22:01:50

Is that normal? She is 2 and a half, and when he died (he was my DPs brother) I sat her down and told her that her uncle had been very ill (she knew this already) and he had been so ill that he couldn't get better, so he died, which means he went to sleep for a very long time and we wouldn't be able to see him any more. I said that if she wanted to talk or ask questions it would be fine, and it was fine to feel sad. She just shrugged and ran off to play.

That was two weeks ago, a couple of times she has told me that her uncle is really poorly, and I have repeated that he was so poorly that he died, but I don't think she really understands.

Obviously I don't want her to be upset if she doesn't have to be, but equally I don't want her to somehow misunderstand and think that, for example, when I go hospital to have the baby I'm pregnant with, that I will die.

Any tips?

EccentricaGallumbits Wed 02-Sep-09 22:05:33

not an expert but don't really think the average 2 year old has any concept about living and dying at all.

I think i'd just remind her closer to the event that soon you'll be going away for a day or so and then she'll have new baby to cuddle.

liath Wed 02-Sep-09 22:08:48

Totally normal IMHO, there's no way I'd expect my 2.5 year old to have any understanding of death. Sorry for your loss, though.

geordieminx Wed 02-Sep-09 22:14:36

My 2 1/2 year old thinks all of the fish on the counter in asda are sleeping... with their eyes open. hmm

No concept, not sure whether it is a good or bad thing.

Sorry for your loss.

Heated Wed 02-Sep-09 22:14:51

My ds is 5 and he got a bit worried about it from about three and a half/4 yrs old when he worked out he had only 3 grandparents - he wanted to know where was the 4th/ how did they die, were we going to die? He was very matter-of-fact when my SM died about 6m later, although he was sad for his grandpa, whilst my 3 yr old has no awareness of it at all, she's just too young.

My sympathies to you about your DP's brother but I wouldn't suggest repeat telling her about her uncle's death and wouldn't in anyway connect the two when you go into hospital. Focus on the excitement of a new sibling (and the present they're going to bring with themsmile)

MissMoopy Wed 02-Sep-09 22:17:47

Sorry for your partners loss but to reassure you your child is perfectly normal. She is way too young to understand the concept of death.
If your partner can face it they could put together a few photos/keepsakeso that they can talk about her uncle with her. She will understand once she is much older xx

HarlotOTara Wed 02-Sep-09 22:20:48

SHe is far too young to understand death. However please don't say that he has gone to sleep for a long time as a way of describing death. This can cause real fears for children as it can make them worried about falling asleep ie. equating sleep with death.

siouxsieandthebanshees Wed 02-Sep-09 22:27:45

She is reacting totally normally for a 2.5yr old imo

sausagerolemodel Wed 09-Sep-09 23:07:30

Some info on various ages and understanding of death here www.childbereavement.org.uk/for_schools/children_s_understanding_of_death

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