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20 Bumps

How do you tell a 7-yr-old her parents are dead?

I'm her aunt and she's going to be living with me from now on. My sister and her DH were in a car accident and died last night and my niece is coming home from camp tomorrow.
I can't tell her they went to heaven, she knows what that is and I can't just say "your parents are dead". How do I tell her?

Please help me

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:13 PM on Aug. 19, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (27)
  • sometimes the best way is just to be honest. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for, and they're pretty durable when it comes to tough situations. I would sit her down and explain what happened and let her know that they are in a better place. If nothing else, you can direct her to the priest/preacher/grief counselor.

    Answer by gnovinger at 11:16 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • Oh my gosh I am sooo sorry for your loss. :( What an awful thing to have happened. I've never had experience with this but I would tell her that they went to heaven (or whatever your religious belief/preference may be) or tell her they passed as gently as you can. You can't really hide the fact that they have died and will not be coming back - she may not understand but she will with time.

    Answer by MommaofH2 at 11:17 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • i'm so sorry. and I have no idea how to tell her, if I was in your situation, I would be so lost and confused and sad-strucken

    Answer by Lovin_mybaby5 at 11:17 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • I am so sorry for your loss. I personally would be honest first of all, and let her lead the session with her questions. Let her do most of the talking, and answer the questions she asks, and JUST THAT...adults tend to answer more than just the question being asked.

    I could not imagine being in your position. Good luck, and feel free to invite me as a friend.

    Answer by livewell at 11:18 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • Your going to have to tell her the simple truth so that she understands what has happened. I agree with the PP. She would benefit from counseling. Best wishes and so sorry for your loss!

    Answer by Erin814 at 11:18 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • I'm so sorry for your loss and the loss of your family!!! I don't know the best way to tell her that her parents are gone! Maybe start off with telling her that her mommy and daddy where in a car accident the other night...when she asks if they are ok....hell I don't know!! I'm so sorry that you are in this situation!! This situation hits home for me but I'm sure you'll tell her the best you know how just be sure to hold and hug her when she cries and I would have close family members around to support her and you in this time of need. God bless you and your family....

    Answer by worriedmommy600 at 11:19 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • I am so sorry about your Loss.

    I think that she is probably old enough to be told the truth. It will be very hard on her but it will be better than telling her anything else. I wouldn't just say that her parents are Dead but just explain that they were in a car accident and their injuries were too bad for the Doctor to be able to help them. They are with Jesus now and even though they can't be with her here, they can be with her in her heart and they are now her guardian angels.

    It may be good if you can make a scrapbook with her of photos/items from her Mom and Dad, something she will always be able to turn to when she is really missing them. I would also suggest having photos of htem around the house. A loss is always easier if you feel like the memory is still alive.

    Prayers are being sent your way.

    Answer by hsmominky at 11:20 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • heaven is the easiest way to say it. it kind of glorifies it. makes it seem happier for them. she is going to be hurt no matter what and its going to be hard on you both. just set her down and let her know its ok to feel sad, its ok to cry, its even ok to be angry, but life is going to be different now. its not an easy thing its a must do thing. say it however you feel she will understand the best. good luck and im so sorry.

    Answer by cassie_m at 11:20 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • I would tell her the truth.. just say that while she was away.. her mommy and daddy went to a better place and then you can tell her the details.. i guess thats how i would do it... im not sure.. but im deeply sorry :( :(

    Answer by janieishappy at 11:21 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • I'm really sorry for your loss. I think you should be honest with her as much as you can. She's going to be hurt and she will need to cry. Don't try to stop her. Some people try to make jokes to stop the pain and make them smile but I think that's wrong. She's going to be devastated and you are too so when she cries, cry with her. Nothing wrong with it.
    Good luck- my prayers go to them, your family and the little girl.

    Answer by pipermomofash at 11:21 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

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