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How do you explain death to a 6 year old?

My son is 6 he has been through allot in the last year. On dec 9th 2008 when my 6 year old was at school his littlest brother passed away from sids. I was at work when his brother passed but my 6 year old blames himself for the death of his brother cause he thinks he should have been home when it happened i dont know what to say or do to help him. He just dont understand why his brother had to go.. help me

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saramae9764

Asked by saramae9764 at 11:38 PM on Oct. 14, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (10)
  • aw im so sorry, that is so sad. just tell him his little brother had to go so he could watch over him. (if you believe in that stuff, i dont want to offend you.) if you believe in God just say that God had an urgent call for him and needed his little brother to be with him.
    this is so hard, gah i cant imagine how you feel.
    tell him someday he will get to see him again, but for now God needed him.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:43 PM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • just explain to him that its not his fault and even if he was there that he could not have done anything...let him know that his brother is a angel now and god needed him so he had to go i am so sorry for ur loss i am in tears right now....i hope that things get easeir as time goes my dh lost his brother two years ago and we had to explain to my brotherinlaws kids what happened and they wer 2,4,6,8 at the time ...my prayers r with u
    firstimemomm603

    Answer by firstimemomm603 at 12:04 AM on Oct. 15, 2009

  • In the Movie Corrina, Corrina, the main character (Corrina) tells the little girl that "the angels wanted to be with her mother so much that they took her to be with them". Maybe something like that (if you're not an atheist anyway) would be helpful because it make it seems like it's not such a bad thing if the little brother is with the angels.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:08 AM on Oct. 15, 2009

  • you could tell him too that his brother loved you guys so much he had to go be an angel so he could protect you guys forever but hell be waiting for you all when you get your turn to become angels too. and if he misses his brother he can still talk to him. just say his name and hell be listening. he can even write him letters and draw him pictures and you can go put them on his grave. tell him thats how angels get their mail. his brother is always with him in his heart adn hell alwas be able to carry his brother with him that way and they dont ever have to be apart. use it all or pick out what you like. just make sure he knows his brother will always be with him watching over him...if of course thats what you believe.
    treystiredmommy

    Answer by treystiredmommy at 2:20 AM on Oct. 15, 2009

  • I am so saddened by ypur tragedy. I would tell your son the truth. The little brother's body was not ready to live in this world. He is now in heaven. Most of the time people live a long, long time and don't die until they are very old and their bodies wear out. Dying is very sad to the people who are still alive on earth. Sometimes new bodies have problems and can not survive so the body dies but the spirit goes on to heaven just like the older bodies, it is nobodies fault and the spirit is in heaven with God. We miss the people we love who have died but can take comfort in that they are no longer in pain and have no problems because they are in a happy place with Jesus. Tell him you love him and his little brother and will remember how much they loved each other and that the memories will make you smile.
    higherboundmom

    Answer by higherboundmom at 9:52 AM on Oct. 15, 2009

  • Well, first thing, it depends on what YOU believe. You didn't say how you feel about death. For me, I believe in reincarnation. So, I would simply tell my children that even though he can't be with us and we can't see him, he can see us. That he is with us in everything we do. And that our family has so much love already that he needed to go so that he could take some of that love to another family. I will tell them to make sure they remember him happily and we would plant a tree in his memory.

    In your case though if he is blaming himself, he may need help. I'm not saying he's crazy, but the sooner you deal with something like that the better. Call his doctor and see what they think. Therapy can be a great tool to work through pain and it's better done now.
    SabrinaMBowen

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:02 AM on Oct. 15, 2009

  • I think it's hard enough for adults to cope with death, so expecting a 6 year old to get it is unreasonable. It depends on how hard he is really taking it, though. If it has been almost a year and this is still an issue (affecting his behavior, his actions, his emotions in more of an extreme way) you might want to talk to a therapist to find out what steps need to be taken. I'm not sure what exactly is a "normal" response at 6, but you should find out if what is going on is normal or not. If he really believes it is his fault, he needs someone other than mommy to tell him it's not.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:23 AM on Oct. 15, 2009

  • I don't know what to say but I am so sorry for your family's loss.
    LUVWJ

    Answer by LUVWJ at 11:19 AM on Oct. 15, 2009

  • I am so sorry for your loss. It is extremely difficult to explain death. Like others have said, if you have a religious background then go with that. Possibly have a meeting with your Pastor/Minister/Rabi/Priest. If your son is involved in church in any way then maybe his Sunday School teacher can help as well. Another possibility is to talk to a grief counselor.
    lissa27504

    Answer by lissa27504 at 11:26 AM on Oct. 15, 2009

  • Honestly, look into some grief counseling - for all of you not just your son. A dear friend of mine is dealing with the same thing right now with her daughter, and it has done wonders to have someone removed from the situation helping them through it.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:02 PM on Oct. 15, 2009

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