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How To Discuss Death W/ 7 & 5yos.

Today is the first day of our Spring break & I found out last night that a classmate of my sons' was killed w/ her family in a car accident on Friday. I'm just wondering if anyone has any advice or stories they can share.

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JeJaNi_MaMa

Asked by JeJaNi_MaMa at 2:56 PM on Mar. 9, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • Gosh thats a tough one. I guess it all depends on how and what you believe. I happen to believe our friends and loved ones go to a more peaceful place than we are in now and thats not what I grew up being taught, it's just what I believe now. Sorry I don't have any stories to share like that. Best wishes!!!
    mom_wrhsc

    Answer by mom_wrhsc at 3:04 PM on Mar. 9, 2009

  • That is so sad, I am so sorry.

    A lot of people tell their children that someone has gone on a trip to heaven or has gone to sleep. I wouldn't do this. It can make kids afraid to sleep and also completely miss what death actually is.

    I would sit them down, ask them what they know about death so that you can know where to start when explaining it. I would then just tell them what happened (without details). " Your classmate isn't going to be in your class anymore, he was badly hurt and passed away." Let them know it is OK to be sad but their friend is in a place where he is OK (also an opportune time to explain to them your family's particular views on the afterlife). Then ask them if they have questions. I had just turned 12 when my friend died. A classmate of mine called and asked to speak with me and told me. I was very upset; if they were close with him, it's unavoidable.
    NovemberLove

    Answer by NovemberLove at 3:05 PM on Mar. 9, 2009

  • I understand. When my son was in third grade his classmate's mom died suddenly of a brain anyeurism on mother's day, in fifth grade my youngest daughter's best friend's father committed suicide, another daughter went to high school with some of the VA Tech kids. Death is so so damn hard. In my son's summer right before college 4 local highschoolers died together in the same car accident. I've just tell them, and mine are highschool into college, that no one not any one knows when it's time to die, that only God knows. I've just told them that when it's time to die God comes and scoops you up and takes you to heaven where ever you are. And their souls their memories stay on earth and their hearts of love and caring go to heaven and beat in heaven.
    I am sorry for your sadness. it's hard. Unfortunately it doesn't get easier. God Bless.

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:08 PM on Mar. 9, 2009

  • I don't agree with november, JMO. I think they are still too young to really understand death. I would say that they were in a accident and they all went to heaven together, if you believe in heaven that is. I wouldn't be too adult though, they won't understand. And I wouldn't say a car accident because that may make a fear of the car.
    At 4, I would told my mom went for a operation and died in the hospital. I have not been to a hospital except to birth my dd since. Kids pick up on certain details and there is never to know what they will pick. So use all gentle, general terms. GL.
    kboney29

    Answer by kboney29 at 3:09 PM on Mar. 9, 2009

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