How do you tell a child about a death?

This is a post I made last year on an older blog that ended soon after. It’s old, but I think it may help people going through a similar situation in the future.

I am here to tell you that I do not really have an answer.

This will be more of a thinking process for me. I am thinking fast since my sister has a cancerous brain tumor and will have surgery on Tuesday.

If she doesn’t have the surgery she will be dead in a month.

With the surgery they say she could have maybe 3 – 6 months.

The hardest part for me to do the explaining is that I haven’t really had it sink in yet.

3 months ago she was perfectly fine had a job was planning a trip for the summer.

Now the surgeon said when asked about going back to work “do you want your last days spent working?”

Four years ago my father died and 4 hours later my brother in law died.

On the same day my mother and my baby sister became widows. When we were at the funeral home my grandson was with me. He said he knew I would like to have him and his little sister close. How right he was.

Anyway I was looking for someone to find out where the washrooms were. When I asked someone, Sean said I can take you grandma I know where they are. I had forgotten that his great grandfather’s funeral was in the same building a few months earlier.

I asked him what he thought about his uncle and great grandpa being dead and he decided that it was kind of nice that they died at the same time so that great grandpa and uncle Kel would have someone to talk to.

Mia my grand daughter was only 2 so not really affected but if she saw someone crying or looking sad she would go up to them and give them a hug. They smiled and someone asked her why she hugged them. Her answer was “you look like you need a hug.”  So simple but so appropriate.

When I was young, a girl I went to school died from complications due to diabetes. There was a funeral but her school mates were not allowed to attend. Parents thought it might traumatize us. But we spent the day talking about her and what it was like to die.

I wonder if going to the funeral would have been better for us.

I still hate funerals but go because it is the thing to do. I would much rather do something by myself thinking about the person than sit in a building listening to a minister who didn’t know the person telling us how wonderful it will be for them in heaven.

I don’t think this makes me cold or unfeeling I just have different ways of thinking.

This aunt who is dieing is loved my grand children but she is not a major player in their lives so I think keeping the news as simple as possible would be the way to go.

Maybe say that she is now with her dad and brother in law.  They are young children so why complicate things for them. They will know they won’t see her anymore and will miss her but they have good memories to recall.


About Grandma

I am a grandma of 4 I write stories for children I love to talk about children and give tested advice.
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