Death is one of the most painful normalities of life that we will ever encounter. When we are blessed with a child, the last thing anyone ever thinks about his death, however as heartbreaking as it may be, it is very normal. If we looked at it from a different perspective, it wouldn’t only be easier to explain but easier to handle. As with anything, talking to a child must always be done on the level that they will understand. Your child may not comprehend why their loved one can’t come back or where they went, but here are a few tips on how to ease the pain of the process.
Use Relevant Terminology
If the child doesn’t know what you are saying, the entire message will be lost. First, realize the level of understanding that the child has. A 3-year-old may not get it at all or even remember the person lost, while an older child will. Let them know in their words, at their level, that all living things have a life cycle. Explaining in this way will not seem morbid but show that death is a normal sequence.
Always Reflect on Memories
Death hurts everyone. But in situations beyond our control, we can choose to focus on the good. Recall the happy times that your child had with their loved one and emphasize that those memories will last forever. In situations where one was lost due to illness, let the child know that there is no more suffering and that the loved one is free from misery and pain.
Explain Death as The Next Phase
Let your child know that while someone has died, that they have only “passed on” or transitioned to the next part of the cycle. Just as they were in a phase waiting to be born, then they lived, they have now passed to the next part of the life cycle which is death. With little kids, using diagrams or visuals may also help in the process.
Death is never easy for anyone to deal with. A lot of us even in adulthood sometimes avoid the subject altogether to ease the pain. While these tips are for children, we can all consider these to help with grieving. Death doesn’t have to be sad or final, it can just be goodbye for now. Take hope in the memories of your loved one and hold onto them.
Written by: Joyanne Lawrence, Staff Writer, Modern Domestic
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Blog: I WRITE STUFF (www.facebook.come/mymindincolor)