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How would you explain death to a 4 yr old?

My 17 yr old niece died last night and I need help explaining it to my 4 yr old DS. My other kids are old enough to understand what death is and I never had to deal with this before so I don't know how to explain it so he will understand.. How would you explain it? Thanks, I really appreciate any help I can get,


Asked by MommyWeston at 3:24 PM on Jun. 22, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (4)
  • I am sorry to hear that such a young person is gone from your family so soon. ((HUGS))

    My cousin was 19 when he was killed in a car accident. My son was 2. We explained to him that Zac was in a car accident and was hurt really bad. So bad that God took him to live with him and Jesus. That he was still with us in our hearts and watching out for us.

    I like what 2teensLO2 said. To go to the library and find a story that will help. Let them ask questions and answers them in the best way with his age and comprehension. Good luck.

    Answer by SweetPea726 at 3:55 PM on Jun. 22, 2011

  • go to the library and get a childs book on death... read it to him. Sorry for your loss.

    Answer by 2teens2LOs at 3:35 PM on Jun. 22, 2011

  • I'm so sorry for your loss. My son knows what Heaven is. I don't know how religious you are or anything, however; we aren't super religous, but he knows what it means when you go to Heaven. He gets sad when people go to Heaven, but I try to comfort him by telling him they are happy and will be waiting to see us later on when its our time to go to Heaven. My son will be 5 at the end of August. Try to only explain as much as you have. Wait for him to ask you questions and even then only answer as much as you really have to. Give him as much information to keep him happy. If that makes sense ? Good Luck, Hun & Take Care.

    Answer by loudnproud87 at 3:57 PM on Jun. 22, 2011

  • We aren't religious, so I will give you our take on explaining death too, in case our beliefs are similar. We have told our children that sometimes people are too sick (or injured, if that is more suitable to the situation) to have a good life anymore, and they pass away. When that happens, their bodies buried or cremated, and we celebrate what a wonderful life they were able to have at a funeral, but they are not alive to see or visit anymore.

    They have also been to funerals, so they have seen the physical process, and I think that this solidifies the concept of the person being gone in their minds.

    I'm very sorry for your loss. I'm actually getting ready to have this conversation again with my 2.5 year old, as my aunt's funeral is Saturday. Sigh. It is a hard conversation.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 4:32 PM on Jun. 22, 2011