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How do you explain death to a two year old?

We recivied news that my grandmother is dieing, and wants to see all her grand kids and great grand kids one last time. My son absolutely adores my grandmother and even gave her a pet name (gam-gam). I want to at least explain to my son that when i take him, it will probably be the last time he'll see her, I just have no idea how.

How do you explain death to a two year old?


Asked by SolaraDarkset at 11:27 AM on Jul. 29, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 16 (3,106 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • Well, firstly it depends on your beliefs... For me, we told my son that when you die you have to go away. And the people that loved you here, can't see you any more. BUT we explained that that person will always be able to see them. We drew a circle and explained that we all start as babies, then we grow up and old. Then we die and become a spirit to watch over those we love. And then, it starts over... We told him that he can always talk to them and they can always hear him. And if he sits and listens quietly and hard enough, he just might hear them talking back!

    He is 3 btw... Our 2yo, didn't care... He doesn't really get attached to people yet. If you are gone, you are just gone, it doesn't bother him. As long as there is someone there. My 3yo crys if you leave the room...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 11:32 AM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • it depends on what your beliefs are..

    Answer by necro1134 at 11:28 AM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • i dnt think a 2 yr old would undertsnad i would say every one dies when they get so old and now she going too heaven and we will see her again 1 day.. that just me tho .. but yeah u have too go on ur beliefs

    Answer by ashley_nick30 at 11:31 AM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • im sorry i dont think a 2yr old would undertand ..

    Answer by ashley_nick30 at 11:31 AM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • My grandmother passed when my son was about the same age...we use to grandma sit her...she had Alzheimer's...I bought a book by Sesame Street ...had to get it online...I believe it was called Goodbye Mr. Hooper....Warning to you it aloud to yourself several times first or you'll never make it through without crying.

    Answer by KaylasMiracle at 11:31 AM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • Death is a hard concept for a child to grasp, even when they are a bit older. I don't know if you're explaining the loss of a person or a pet, but I can tell you my experience.

    When my ex-husband's daughter (my sons' half-sister) died, I called a county children's welfare dept to ask for a grief counselor, because my boys were 5 and 3 and I wasn't sure what to say to them. What the counselor told me was this:

    "Take the kids for a walk along the river. Show them the trees and the flowers. Explain that everything has a cycle. It is born or sprouts, it grows, it ages and it ends. This is natural and it happens to every living thing. It also happens to people and that is what happened to _______."

    Answer by geminilove at 11:41 AM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • My daughters' babysitter lost her mother who lived with her and helped her with the kids. My daughters thought of her as another grandma. I told them that she had been having lots of pain and owies, and that she was going to go to sleep and leave the owies behind. When they asked when she would wake up I told them that she will not wake up again. Yes they where sad, but they got over it. No matter how you explain it your child will be sad. The best you can do is let them express their emotions. My children took to calling all their other grandmas on a daily bases for a few weeks to make sure the rest of them where still around. After a few weeks of that they start calling every few days.


    Answer by Alanaplus3 at 11:48 AM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • Sorry, my answer got cut off.

    That's not to say it can't cause some anxiety in kids if they wonder about a parent dying. In that case, just reassure her that you are doing everything in your power to be healthy (like going to the dr, eating good food, going to the dentist, wearing your seatbelt, etc.) to help make sure Mommy and Daddy live long healthy lives.

    My kids seemed to take it pretty well, but they did have some anxiety. They were like little hawks for awhile about making sure I took my vitamins, wore my sealtbelt (which I always do anyway... lol), and they wanted to bury dead bugs and birds they found for awhile.

    Answer by geminilove at 11:54 AM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • My grandpa passed away 3 wks ago. We explained that he was up in the sky/heaven and that we'd see him again someday.
    Its not exactly what we believe but its good for a young child(I was explaining to a 5, barely 3, and 18 mth old).

    I think it helped. They didnt ask a lot of questions because that was enough for them and when we went to the funeral and such they didnt ask questions or freak out or anything.

    They actually were a great comfort to my grandma.

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 12:00 PM on Jul. 29, 2009


    Answer by older at 12:09 PM on Jul. 29, 2009