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How to talk to a 3 year old about death

A couple days ago my grandmother was put on "comfort measure" by hospice. She is at home and not the hospital. No one knows how long she has but she isn't eating much or drinking much. I am planning on traveling to visit soon (today or tomorrow) to see her and I'm thinking of taking the boys with me. I'm not too worried about Devin, at 15 months old he isn't aware enough to understand grandma's health or question her absents from his life. However Chris is 3 and I know he talking about going to see great-grandma and would question her absents. So my question is. . . How do I explain death on a level that a 3 year old would understand?

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Asked by chrissmom734 at 2:26 PM on Apr. 28, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 10 (390 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • My cousin was 4 when her little sister died at 15 months old. Her parents explained to her that her sister had gone to be with Jesus where she wouldn't be sick anymore and wouldn't hurt anymore and told her that anytime she wanted to talk to her sister she could tell Jesus what she wanted to tell her and Jesus would let her know.

    I don't know your religious beliefs, so I am sorry if this is offensive, but it's the only experience I have.

    My cousin did fairly well with everything-- as well as you can do when you lose a sibling.

    Answer by other_mother at 4:35 PM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • thank you for your response Grandma passed at 4:30 today.

    Comment by chrissmom734 (original poster) at 4:58 PM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • I'm sorry for your loss.

    Answer by other_mother at 5:09 PM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • I am so sorry for your loss. It is hard to explain death but sometimes its easier for a child than we think to understand and harder for the grown up. I danced all around the whole death thing and one day I just told my son that someone died, went to heaven and is living with God . He asked if he could visit, I told him you can't just go visit--angels have to bring you and that was the end of that.

    Answer by hotelmom123 at 5:32 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • There are some great books for children that explain death. Look at Barnes & Noble, Borders or Amazon.

    Answer by hill_star03 at 7:58 PM on May. 1, 2011

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