Tips for Explaining Death to Children
Life can be unpredictable sometimes. The day could start off completely as per usual and anything can happen.
We can never really prepare ourselves for certain calls. “There has been an accident,” or “I have some bad news to share with you.” When calls start out this way, we know the news that is coming next cannot be good.
For anyone, the concept of why people die a certain way and at a certain age is not a concept one can really understand. Who decides when it is one’s time to die? In order to derive comfort, some people feel that God makes these decisions. Others are more spiritual. Others are more rational.
Regardless of where we look for comfort, the whole concept of death is abstract. One that is difficult for anyone to process. But particularly for children, whose innocence does not enable them to process these emotions.
In recent months, tragedy has struck our family more than once. We have had no choice but to explain to our children that several of our loved ones are now with God.
Do they really understand what this means? Probably not.
Do they have in their minds an idea or vision of what that means? They probably do.
Regardless of how prepared we are to accept the death of a loved one, there are no easy ways to tell our children, followed up by having to answer questions that we ourselves do not know the answers to.
Tips for Explaining Death to Children:
The whole concept of death is one that many people shy away from. Children are especially vulnerable because they do not have the cognitive ability to understand the complexity of death. As parents, the best thing we can all do is be there to comfort, explain and support. Most importantly, everyday, let our children know how much we love them. As we are never quite sure when that will be the last time we are able to say this to them.
Image: “Withered Rose” by phanlop88 courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.
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