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How to explain to a 4 year old that her Great Paw Paw is in Heaven?

I am of course taking her to the visitation and funeral. I don't know if it's going to be open coffin or not, but I talked to my Grandma about and she gave me the approval to bring her with me. Either way, if I lose it at visitation and the funeral, how can I explain this to her? She's already been wondering why I've been so sad and I haven't been able to explain this to her yet.

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Asked by proudmom2510 at 11:57 PM on Mar. 27, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (4)
  • I think its important that she can see you upset because it shows her that it IS okay to be sad. She needs to know that it IS okay to feel and express those emotions.
    I was 3 or 4 when my grandpa died and they had an open casket and personally it didn't freak me out or scar me for life. idk about other kids in general, but I took that okay
    I'm so sorry for your loss<3

    Answer by ElsaSalsaaa at 12:05 AM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • i think its important she is allowed to be at the funeral. she doesn't understand death, kids that age just can't comprehend it so the more she can see, the more she WILL understand. the funeral is a chance she can say goodbye. personally I think it will be more confusing for her to not have that chance to say goodbye, than it would be to let her go to the funeral. again, I was 3 or 4 at my grandpas funeral and it didn't scar me for life, it wasn't a bad experience

    Answer by ElsaSalsaaa at 12:07 AM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • also you can assure her that paw paw is now an angel who is watching over her when she sleeps and will always be close in her heart.

    Answer by kkbird at 12:08 AM on Mar. 28, 2011

  • I don't know about your dd, but my 4 yr old ds doesn't understand what death is. I recently told all 3 of my dss that my grandmother passed away. My 2 oldest are 9 and 13. In the past, I explained to them that death is part of the journey that all of us will have to take. If I had lived closer, I would have gone to the funeral and my children with me. I don't want my children to be afraid of death. My dss have never been to a funeral. To me, a funeral is a celebration of the deceased's life here on earth.

    Answer by dustbunny at 12:17 AM on Mar. 28, 2011

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