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how do you tell a 5 year old girl that someone passed away.

I have a friend well her and her mom have knowen me since I was pregnant with my 5 year old. Well my DD is very close to the 2 of them she always asks to see them. She just seen her a few days ago, but her mom however she hasn't seen since she was 3 years old or almost 4. She still remembers her though and sometimes she will ask about her. Well she ended up with cancer and with in 2 months it got really bad and she passed yesterday. I was going to go see her this weekend. So how do I tell her about this? Also would you alow a child that young go to calling hours/funeral? Not sure if we are going to the funeral yet cause she want's to be barried in another state. But we will deffinatly go to the calling hours. Is she to young? I thought she might be not sure. But not sure if I want her to go since my real dad I will know will be there (they have been neighbors for 2 years) and I don't want him to see my kids


Asked by mommy5409 at 11:40 AM on Sep. 9, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (12)
  • Openly, honestly, and using only concrete terms that she can understand. (children at different developmental levels comprehend death differently).
    My husband died in April, my widows group has been hugely helpful in dealing with things like this.

    And it's wonderfully helpful to have children attend services and funerals, providing they are adequately prepared. This can help them to understand what is happening, and to take the scary mystery out of death. Our culture is very death-denying and many adults haven't learned yet how to deal with death in a healthy way ... it's really important to teach our children this skill instead of passing on our fears and anxieties.

    Answer by Gaccck at 10:20 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • wow, this is aweful and im so sorry to hear this. Only you know your childs level of maturity. I personally couldn't even handle funerals in my teenage years without being a complete basket case over the whole ordeal... it could have been a complete stranger and I would still be a mess. For me personally, it would be too much of a traumatic experience at that age. And my son who is 5 also would be completely terrified of the visuals of it all. He understands deatch but wouldn't handle seeing it well. However, i do know of other young children your daughters age who have gone through it just fine. I wouldn't lie to her about what happened, but spare her the gory details. Perhaps you should ask her if she wants to go? for closure? again, only you know if you think your DD is somewhat capable of coping with this. You don't want to scar and scare her for years to come if shes pushed into it. good luck.

    Answer by Lipstk713 at 12:38 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • there are reaons for that. I don't want my kids getting hurt by seeing him and him not coming around. He is my boilogical dad.

    Comment by mommy5409 (original poster) at 11:41 AM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • When DD's paternal grandad died, she was 2. I took her to see him and told her that he went to live with the angels in heaven. He was sick and it was time for him to go.
    The worst thing you can do is to avoid or lie (say they are sleeping or such). Just be honest with her. Answer her questions. It will make dealing with death easier as she gets older.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 11:46 AM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • my daughter was 3yr older went her grandma passed away i told her that god need her now and she will allways be with us all the
    time i hope this help you our

    Answer by jgabbert at 12:05 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • DS1 was 5 when my uncle passed. We are a very close-knit family, so it was hard. He actually took it very well, and was greeting everyone at the wake (calling hours). He would walk up and say "Hi, my name is Alex. Do you want to see my Uncle Ben?" Then he would take them by the hand, walk in the room where he was laid out, andsay "That is my Uncle Ben. He was sick, and now he's dead" and cry. Then he'd walk back out and do the same thing over an over. It was humorous, but sad all at once.

    Answer by MunchiesMom324 at 12:21 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • musicmom08

    Answer by musicmom08 at 1:38 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • I sure there are books written on the subject are specific to your child's level. You could read the book together and then answer any questions she has.

    Answer by HotMama330 at 2:16 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • Children deal with grief in different ways. When my son was 3 our dog died so he decided that he just went 2 his house (you go over the trees and through the river) Since then 2 dogs got hit by cars, my grandpa and uncle have all passed.

    Answer by Caoimhe_Oona at 9:26 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • My son says they are all waiting for him at his house and he gets to see them when he goes to sleep. It seems 2 work for him. He went to the funerals with no problem and understands death and what it means. Just copes in his way. =)

    Answer by Caoimhe_Oona at 9:28 PM on Sep. 9, 2010