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Explaining death to my 3 year old.

Our dear friend who is our babysitter just lost her baby at 36 weeks. My 3 year old daughter knows that Sara was in the hospital to have the baby and now she wants to play with her. I've told her the baby is in Heaven and we can't play with her. Well at the funeral they gave everyone a picture of her and I brought mine home. My daughter found it and says "theres a picture wheres the baby?" I have tried the same explanation but now whenever we go to church she cries that she wants the baby. The church tells me to just drop it, she'll forget about it. I question that though. She found an extra picture of the baby at the church and is taking care of it. She hugs it and kisses it, puts it to bed with her, and plays with. I'm not quite sure how to handle it.

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:56 PM on Jan. 18, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (4)
  • Bless her heart. Maybe you can tell her that God is taking care of the baby now and she's in good hands. If you have a photo album let her put the pic in the album and tell her that she can look at it any time she wants. At least it will get the pic out of her hands and off her mind 24/7. I wish you the very best. Children have hearts of hearts....they are so pure....she is mothering the picture. I would talk with her often....I would not drop it.

    Answer by Southerncharmes at 12:08 AM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • Don't just drop it. I would explain to her that when someone is very very ill, then they sometimes go to live with God in Heaven because he will take care of them there but that they can not come back to play with us. Make sure you explain to her that angels in Heaven are taking care of the baby and that the baby is very very happy there. If she asks again, just tell her the same thing. its difficult at 3, but they are smart and they will learn over time.

    Answer by AprilDJC at 4:08 AM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • My daughter is 3, and I have wondered the same. My post is about one of our dogs - no disrespect is intended by replying to a question about a person with an answer about a dog please - but death is still the topic.
    The "puppy (he was 7)" died in June of 08, she still cries and asks for him. We talk openly about heaven and about how happy and safe he is now - and how God takes such good care of him.She still asks for him to come home or can "God send him back" - She is a super sensitive and tenderhearted little girl. She even tells people about the death. I just keep telling her the same thing each time she asks. Hope this helps some.

    Answer by sydneybeansmomm at 9:10 AM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • I am so sorry. We know what you're friend is going through all too well. This past April we lost our daughter. My 2 1/2 year old son was awaiting her birth so anxiously. He was able to meet his sister and hold her and we have many pix. He loves to give her pictures kisses and for a while after I got home from the hospital, he still kissed my belly every night. It was heartbreaking. He was going to be such a good big brother. When he asked for her, we told him about Heaven & explained how she's watching over us, however, we will not be able to see her. We will meet her again one day. You can't just drop it... they're smart little kids. Their minds wander. It's been 9 months and we still talk about her everyday. Let your daughter talk about the baby... maybe for now just tell her that the baby had to move away but it's nice of her to hold the picture dear. Let her keep the picture close. It helps her.

    Answer by ProudmomiOf2 at 12:04 PM on Jan. 19, 2009

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