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Thread: Sensitive topic- death mentioned

  1. #1

    Default Sensitive topic- death mentioned

    Our 7 year old niece was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in January and passed away tonight I have no idea what to tell Emme. They weren't close, but we did go visit them and Emme knew she was "sick." How do you explain another child's death to a 4 year old? I can't even think about it without crying, I'm afraid I'll scare Emme if she sees me fall apart. I should have planned for this.... I think I was in denial.

  2. #2

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    First of all I am really sorry for your loss I couldn't imagine how you feel or the parents feel. Do you plan on going to the funeral? You could tell her that her cousin was very sick but, she is not in pain anymore and is sleeping forever. We've haven't really experienced this yet with the kids other than MIL's dog passing away. We told Cody about the same thing when Ty the dog died that he is not in pain anymore.
    *** Lindsay ***



  3. #3

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    I'm so sorry, Carrie. I think the only way is raw honesty. You don't know why children die sometimes. It's sad and awful. I know you are afraid your emotions may scare her but I think it's ok for her to see how it makes you feel, and that even though you are unspeakably sad, you will still continue to find joy every day. I don't know what your exact beliefs are, but I read this story to my dd when we were preparing to lose my mom. It's a wonderful story about life and death.
    I'm so so sorry. Telling her this news will be difficult for sure. http://www.thegreatstory.org/tree-ta...out-death.html

  4. #4
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    ugh I am SO sorry for your loss. That is so upsetting and sad

    I guess I would handle it the same way I would any other death? I would just be afraid that SHE would start to become afraid that she will die you know? You don't want a child to feel that way. But aside from not telling her I can't imagine how else to handle it.

    I think it's ok if she sees you sad....even broken up a bit. I am sure it will be an ongoing discussion. I would try to answer any questions and be open to them but not really linger on the topic too much.

    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

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    Put it to her honestly. After the dogs and FIL passed away, Mira would ask lots of death related questions. Among them were questions about her own death, and ours. She knows, as well as a 3 year old can, that animals, people included, get old and die, get sick and die, even die in accidents. She knows that younger people generally won't die for a long time, but that is not certain.

    Kids are more resilient than you might think. Just be prepared for questions. Including what happens when/after one dies.

  6. #6

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    First, I am so sorry. The death of a child is not something that anyone should ever have to face.

    DS1 has been asking a lot of questions about life and death, lately, especially since the birth of his sister and the death of our family pet. I agree with just being honest and straight-forward with your DD, as hard as that is. I found that trying to tip-toe around things just resulted in more questions that were even harder to answer.

    Bridget, I followed the link to the story you suggested, and I really like that idea.
    Last edited by sparks3; 10-16-2013 at 09:22 AM.




  7. #7
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    Does she know much death already? For the longest time, I tried to sugar coat over topics like death with my older Ds. I realised it wasn't the best way to go about it, so I started discussing with him about how nothing lives forever. Our close friend and neighbor died Ds was 3.5, so we've made a point to talk about him and some times have a good cry aboutmissing him.

    I agree with the others that you shouldn't feel like you have to shield herfrom seeing you upset. It is good for kkids to see their parents show real emotion.

    Our own personal belief is that energy never is destroyed, so even though our physical bodies die, our energy lives on. For now, we like to say our loved ones have gone to the stars.

    My own Ds is quite a sensitive lad and he often will have a little cry when he's missing someone who has passed away or we see a dead animal somewhere.

    I'm so sorry about your niece! (hugs)

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    I am so sorry for you and your families loss, I can't think of anything more devastating

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    Put it to her honestly. After the dogs and FIL passed away, Mira would ask lots of death related questions. Among them were questions about her own death, and ours. She knows, as well as a 3 year old can, that animals, people included, get old and die, get sick and die, even die in accidents. She knows that younger people generally won't die for a long time, but that is not certain.

    Kids are more resilient than you might think. Just be prepared for questions. Including what happens when/after one dies.
    I agree with Suja. Try to be honest and matter-of-fact, but you can also let her know that you are sad and that it makes you cry because you are sad for her parents and her family who miss her. I would avoid euphemisms entirely, like "going to sleep" because those kinds of things can make kids very scared of night/sleeping/anesthesia, a lot of other things. I would also emphasize that she had a kind of sickness that is not the kind that most kids get, like colds or stomach aches. My DD went through a period of time when she was scared of dying herself and scared of me dying and brought it up pretty frequently. All I kept telling her was that it was not likely and I hoped it wouldn't happen for a long time.

    I am very sorry for your loss.


  10. #10

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    One of my good friends committed suicide and both my older two saw me crying and upset and asked why. I was honest with them (he died, not that he killed himself) and answered all their questions about it. It was tough but I wanted them to know that it is hard to say goodbye but so nice to remember the goods things. When they asked about death I answered to best of my ability. They now know that my friend is watching over us.

    just be honest with E and let her see you upset. It is a normal reaction and she will learn that honest emotion is something to share and get out instead of keeping it in.

    im so sorry for your loss

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3andMe View Post
    I agree with Suja. Try to be honest and matter-of-fact, but you can also let her know that you are sad and that it makes you cry because you are sad for her parents and her family who miss her. I would avoid euphemisms entirely, like "going to sleep" because those kinds of things can make kids very scared of night/sleeping/anesthesia, a lot of other things. I would also emphasize that she had a kind of sickness that is not the kind that most kids get, like colds or stomach aches. My DD went through a period of time when she was scared of dying herself and scared of me dying and brought it up pretty frequently. All I kept telling her was that it was not likely and I hoped it wouldn't happen for a long time.

    I am very sorry for your loss.
    I didn't think about all of that when I will consider because we have some family member that are really sick.
    Last edited by mom2CodySophia0811; 10-20-2013 at 01:30 PM.
    *** Lindsay ***



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