Explaining Death to Children

Not the best topic in the world for a blog post by any means, but thanks to some unfortunate circumstances in my life I have been thinking about this a lot lately. How to explain death to a child. Some children unfortunately experience it early on, some don’t

until they are older and arguably more able to deal with it. Some people like myself, don’t lose anyone close to them until they are an adult. Everyone grieves differently and everyone processes the idea of death differently. Kids included.

Having a five year old that I have to explain this concept to is not something I am super excited about. You can’t really avoid the topic of faith and spirituality on some level when death becomes a point of conversation. For someone like me (I’m sure some of you can relate) who struggles constantly with their faith, it becomes even harder sometimes. I know what I need to say in so many words but how? and what do I leave out?

I know her little inquisitive mind is not going to be okay with “well he’s in heaven now”. “Where in heaven? How do I see him? Can he see me? Can he hear me? Should I yell louder so he can hear me? What if wants to come back? What if he gets lost? What if he’s not there? What if…how come…when does…”

I can’t answer all of her concerns honestly and I’m a terrible liar trying to make up the answers as I go.

I did find some good resources I wanted to share in case anyone else might be going through this situation as well:

How to Talk to Kids About Death



2 thoughts on “Explaining Death to Children

  1. Such a difficult topic for innocent little minds to have to deal with. We as adults still struggle with death but we understand the concepts whereas children are full of questions… X


  2. Explaining death to children is a hard topic. Especially when trying to deal with your own grief. I think children area unique and some will just follow the reaction of the parents, others will as a lot of questions. I think a lot has to do with the developmental stage of the child. Overall, when children see others grieving and crying, they become distraught too. Which is OK, it teaches them empathy. When they see laughter, remembering good times, love and family support, they get a bigger picture of how grief can be handled in a healthier way. It has always been my point of view that death is always an opening to discuss faith, hope and the love and mercy of God.


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