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What is the easiest and best way to explain the death of a loved one to a 5 year old??

my son's great-Grandmother passed away this morning and Im not quite sure how to tell my 5 year old son, also he has a grandfather who recently passed away... and he doesnt know yet.

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Fpatterson2405

Asked by Fpatterson2405 at 1:42 AM on Aug. 12, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Why hasn't he been told his grandpa passed away? how long ago?
    We lost my dad four years ago and my son was only three...I told him that the part of his grandpa that was special and that loved him was in heaven with Jesus.I also told him that grandpa would always love him and he would always have a special place in his heart.
    Will he be going to his great grandma's funeral? My son did go to the funeral home and the funeral.
    God bless you! I'm sorry for your losses...
    cjsix

    Answer by cjsix at 1:58 AM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • My first born twin son passed away last year and my daughters were both there to see him, My oldest was 4 and my youngest was 2 at the time. She was scared to see him and touch him but we told her a little bit about him and said that he is now in heaven, she watched me cry and she'd ask and I was just honest I'd tell her I was crying because of her brother "baby Cliff" then she was a little more understanding, we have a picture of him framed in our living room and she knows exactly who he is and even shows guest when they come over. I have a memory box and look at once in a while and she loves to sit there and see pictures and his foot prints, I didn't ever want to make my son a famiyl secret, we tell people and we talk about him constantly, We pray at the table and we thank God for baby Cliff. I would just tell your son, I don't know your religious beliefs but I'd def let him know about the losses.
    babyangelromero

    Answer by babyangelromero at 2:13 AM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • IT'S HARD CAUSE MY GRANMOTHER JUST PASSED AND SHE WAS CRAZY ABOUT MY LITTLE GIRL AND MY BABY KEEPS ASKING ME WHERE SHE IS AND I TELL HER SHE'S DEAD SHE'S IN THE SKY NOW THERE REALLY IS NO EASY WAY TO DO THIS JUST TELL THE TRUTH AND TRY TO EAPLAIN THE BESY WAY U CAN
    evette311

    Answer by evette311 at 2:24 AM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • Was he close with either of them?

    I tell my kids that God decided he wanted them to come live with him and help him in heaven.
    They can still talk to their loved one,but they won't hear a response.

    Just make it very simple and easy for them to 'picture' in their heads. And don't tell them more than what's necessary. Let them ask you questions to 'guide' the discussion.
    ARmom

    Answer by ARmom at 9:43 AM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • My son is 4. Recently, my grandfather passed away and we told DS that greatgrandpa had died. He of course didn't understand but we sure weren't going to say "sleeping and wasn't going to wake up" in place of died. Too many kids have developed a huge fear of going to sleep after being told that. What we said was "greatgrandpa died and he went to heaven" and pointed to the sky. We said that he would watch over us from there now. He still asked questions like where was grandpa. When he asked us again at the funeral, it broke my heart. But he finally got it that greatgrandpa was gone and then didn't ask again.
    wildflowers25

    Answer by wildflowers25 at 9:59 AM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • Honestly and by using real words: death, died, dead, body stopped working. And without "went to heaven" - to a small child, that sounds like a choice (went to Walmart, went to the fair - and implies that if you can choose to go, you can choose to come back). And without "god wanted/took" - that's really scary to a young child.

    My husband was killed by a drunk driver. I had to explain all of this to my daughter. The owner of my grief support group was of great help, if you want more info, just message me.
    aliceinalgonac

    Answer by aliceinalgonac at 1:04 PM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • BTDT - with my husband and my parents, and had to explain all to my children. I'm sorry you're going through this.

    Yes, using no euphesims! No "passed away", no "went to sleep", no "lost", no "took", no "went" ... none of that!
    findingharmony

    Answer by findingharmony at 1:20 PM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • If you believe in heaven let him know that she went to Heaven and will be watching over him as an angel. That she is OK and we all go to Heaven when it is our time.
    MKSers

    Answer by MKSers at 7:50 PM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • Another widow here. Don't use "went" anywhere - to a young child, that makes it sound like a choice, like the person who died chose to go away and leave them.
    Gaccck

    Answer by Gaccck at 9:20 PM on Aug. 12, 2010

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