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How has anyone else explained death (and what happens afterwards) to their DC's?

(6 Posts)
QueenOfFrighteningEveryone Tue 13-Oct-09 17:49:36

My youngest cousin sadly and very unexpectedly died last night, he was only 20 months sad, I can't begin to think what his parents and big brother must be going through.

DD is 6 and this is the first death that has really affected her. The family live abroad but visit frequently and DD has always got on so well with them, especially their older DS who is her age. We told her what had happened this morning and she was very quiet for a few minutes and then said she was going to write in her secret diary. Anyway she came back and sat on my knee and we had a hug and a cry together and then she asked me, "Mummy, what will they do with him now?".

Now I haven't really given much thought to how to explain this to her and I am not at all religious, and I was surprised at the words that suddenly seemed right when she asked. I told her that now little G has died he doesn't need his body and bones anymore, and so his family will have a funeral for him and bury or burn them, and that the special bit inside him that made him G isn't in them anymore, that that bit has gone into everything now and is still here with us in our memories.

I want to get my thoughts more ordered for answering her future questions as I think there will be many coming. I also don't really know where my explanation came from, it was strange the way the words just fell into my mouth, and I hope it was right as it was completely not thought through. I was wondering how anyone else had helped their DC's make sense of this?

katiek123 Tue 13-Oct-09 18:44:52

I think that was beautifully expressed and just right for a 6 yr old! I have buddhist leanings so I happen to think that your explanation was spot-on smile
I am so, so sorry for your loss xxx

cat64 Tue 13-Oct-09 19:15:02

Message withdrawn

QueenOfFrighteningEveryone Tue 13-Oct-09 20:14:08

Thank you smile

She asked me at bedtime, What will they do with all his clothes? which had me in tears.

But I know its good that she talks about it and gets her questions answered as honestly as I can manage.

notevenamousie Tue 13-Oct-09 20:16:56

What a sad day for you. Honesty is so key I think. It sounds like you did a great job of explaining and she obviously feels she can ask about things that are bothering her - and what sensitive and clever thoughts she has. My dd is younger, but my mum is terminally ill, so we have touched on how people sometimes don't get better, but we can talk about them and have lots of memories.

liahgen Tue 13-Oct-09 20:24:43

I am very very sorry for your loss and that of the family. What a truly devastating time.

we have lost several family members, aswell as a young friend of my ds (3 yrs), and a full term baby in the last few years.

I have explained to my younger dc's, (ds is now 6) the same as you did, that there body is no longer working but the feelings and the memories of the person are all still around us and that whenever we want to think of the person all we do is think of them. I also said that the people that love us will, the feeling of us being loved still happens, the body is as you explained buried or burnt.

Thought I'd done quite a good job tbh, as ds talks about the people sometimes until walking past a cemetary last year, he commented on how that's where all the bodies are buried, so are the heads all in heaven with the feelings then? hmm

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