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Explaining Death to a child..

A little history, my 2 yr old was 10mths old when his father died unexpectedly. For the past few months, he has been wondering when "Daddy" is going to be coming home, where he has been 'hiding' or if he just walked out.

How do I (or would you) explain that Daddy isn't going to come home, and that He is not hiding, but he is gone forever?

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Asked by MomtoMichael2 at 11:57 AM on Aug. 22, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 12 (884 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • Be as honest as you can be... If their is a grave, take him to see it. & explain that this is where he can talk to his daddy & daddy can hear him..

    Its hard. Very hard. & Im sorry.

    Answer by lilmoosesmom at 11:59 AM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • Is his father buried? Taken him there place flowers on the grave and explain to him that his daddy body is here but he is with you always even though you can't see him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:59 AM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • within their realm of understanding, just explain what you can. "Daddy isn't coming back, his body stopped working". Something like that.

    Answer by Zoeyis at 12:00 PM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • "Sweetheart, daddy isn't coming home. He can't come home. When daddy left, he left in a way that he would never be seen again, but will always be with us in our heart."

    It would be heatbreaking but if I had to say something to my younger children, that's what I would say.

    Answer by DesertRose75 at 12:06 PM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • If he got sick, or was in an accident, Just say Daddy got really sick and the Dr's couldn't make him better..if you're re;ligious you can add he went to heaven..or the angels took him where he won't hurt any more. If his death was at the hand of another you could Say Daddy didn't want to leave you but such and such happened. You want to comfort him and not instill fears. Make sure the child knows it was not his(the babys) fault. It sounds weird, but lots of kids think that.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 12:08 PM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • Thank you all.

    Comment by MomtoMichael2 (original poster) at 12:09 PM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • The father wanted to be Cremated, and his ashes given to his Grandfather, so we really don't have anything left of him other than pictures, and since he was so young when my DH passed, I am not sure he even realizes that the guy in the pics is his Daddy.

    Comment by MomtoMichael2 (original poster) at 12:10 PM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • So sorry to hear that about his father. My mother just passed in Nov. and i had to explain to my son who was 2 at the time what was going on & my duaghter was just a year old so she didnt need to know but i am waiting for the time she askes & this is how i am going to explain it to her just like i did him. My mom was sick & my son saw her through the whole time (the last time we saw my mom was on the 12 of nov bc thats my duaghters bday-my mom passed on the 16th) so after that we told him that gammy was in heaven & she watches him all the time she is talking to Jesus (we go to church and sunday school so that helped him out a lot too) and we will see gammy one day but she lives with jesus now and i have taken him and her to my moms grave, they went with us to pick out the headstone. Just explain enough for now to ease the pain and questions and as he gets older he will start to put it altogether and may have some questions

    Answer by pebbles425 at 12:10 PM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • at 2, as painful as it is for you, he is going to keep asking. He will forget different things you say, so as he asks, say to him"daddy loved us so so much, but he cant come back because when someone dies, they cant come back. and that makes me sad, and i know you are too" never think that your lil one cant see mommy sad, its a healthy thing because you want him to be able to be sad when he needs to be, not lie or hide it. also, you can google organizations in your area that help children deal with grief and death. i was a counselor at a summer camp for children who had cancer(terminal0 and another summer for kids who had lost parents...I worked with the kids and horses, and so so many kids-that could not express their sadness to another person, could cry into the mane of a gentle horse. and it really was like watching miracles.even tho he is 2, there is something out there to help you I am sorry mama, thats so hard I am sure

    Answer by Bearsjen at 12:19 PM on Aug. 22, 2010

  • ran out of room for this(hugs) much luck and love to you.

    Answer by Bearsjen at 12:19 PM on Aug. 22, 2010

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