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I need some help explaining death to my son. His Aunty passed away we have tried to explain he won’t see her again as she has died and now lives in the moon looking down on us.

He keeps saying that she is coming back on a plane and we will get her from the airport. His dad recently went overseas for work so he is using the same idea. My son has recently been in hospital as well and has had to have medicine so doesn’t understand that the medicine didn’t work.


Posted by mom115507, 10th February 2015


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  • We always had and have pets and many pets died, it’s a great way for kids to learn to understand and deal with death. Still to grasp what it means when a loved one dies is very hard for young children. They may have fantasies which are unrealistic for us, which is alright. Once they grow up they’ll learn to understand better.


  • Oooohhhhh, so tough. Not sure there is an adequate discussion to have with a three year old that will explain death


  • It’s a difficult situation and I can’t really offer any suggestions. I’m very sorry for your loss.


  • With my kids when they were young I used pets that had died or dead insects or animals found in the yard. I would get the kids to say goodbye and explain that death is like going to sleep but never waking up again. We would have a funeral for the animal and I would let the kids see the animal buried and we would put flowers on the grave.


  • Sorry for your loss. It might just take some time for him to work it out. He will get there.


  • That is a tough one. My Mum and I were put in a similar situation when an in-law died. We were minding a 5 y.o. and a 3 y.o. at the time. Miss 5 started asking a lot of questions. Mum explained as best she could and thought the conversation was over as we told them they could talk to their Mum and Dad when they arrived to pick them up. No such luck. Last resort was to explain that Everybody is born and dies later. The flowers grow and die. She has seen us pick the dead flowers off bushes and talked about them. That satisfied her for the time being. Her Mum told her that she had gone to live with the stars and be like one of them, took her outside and let her choose a star. Bear in mind that the 3 y.o. was listening to the coversations and could understand only a bit, nowhere near as much as the very bright 5 y.o. The next time it was an Auntie who passed away, the children were with us but the parents asked that they be the ones to tell them. That was OK…..but It was difficult as it was put in the paper before they found out and we started getting phone calls. We had to tell the callers that the little ones hadn’t been told yet so we couldn’t really discuss it as they were at our place for the day…and everybody called at meal time.


  • VERY DIFFICULT TO TELL ABOUT DEATH TO SMALL CHILDREN… HOPE THIS MAY HELP AND ALSO KEEP IT SIMPLE BUT HONEST.IF YOU DO NOT MIND AND I WERE YOU, I FEEL SOMETHING LIKE THIS IS APPROPRIATE AND DEPENDING ON WHETHER OR NOT YOU BELIEVE IN GOD, HIGHER POWER OR WHATEVER. AUNTIE WAS VERY ILL AND SADLY THE MEDICINE AND ALL HELP SHE WAS GIVEN COULD NOT KEEP HER HERE. SO ‘GOD’ DECIEDED IT WAS BEST IF SHE WENT HOME TO HIS HOUSE IN THE SKY, WHERE SHE IS NOW WELL AND HAPPY, BIT LIKE MAGIC-LAND AND SHE LOOKS DOWN ON YOU FROM A SPECIAL TWINKLING STAR, AND THOUGH YOU CANNOT SEE HER SHE IS WATCHING OVER YOU WITH LOVE, YOU CAN ALSO LOOK AT THE STAR AND TALK TO HER TOO,SHE WOULD LIKE THAT TOO AS SHE IS WATCHING OVER YOU…… HOPE THIS HELPS POST A COMMENT IF YOU WANT TO AND LET ME KNOW .IF THIS HELPS BEST WISHES.. PICTURE OF ME AND MY SCHOOL FRIEND (LONG TIME AGO) SHE CAME TO AUSTRALIA FROM ENGLAND AND BETWEEN US OVER THE YEARS WE HAVE HAD KIDS AND GRAND-KIDS.ALSO LOST FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND KEEP IN TOUCH BY PHONE NOW AND AGAIN AND VISITED. GOOD BOND AND KEEPS ME UP TO-DATE WITH OUR EARLY FRIENDS AND FAMILY , WHICH UNFORTUNATELY HAS INCLUDED LOOSING FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES


  • There are great children’s books out there that explain in a “positive” way.
    “Help Me Say Goodbye”
    Sad isnt bad – Michaelene Mundy
    Gentle Willow – Joyce Mills
    Water bugs and DragonFlys – Doris Stickney
    I Miss You – Pat Thomas (Councillor)
    Just to name a few – hope you can come across these. Maybe also check your local library.


  • Its always very hard to explain death, kids dont fully understand death even at 7.
    My son lost his oupa in 2011, we also lost my nanna and my pop in 2011
    and just last year we lost my dad (my son’s pop)
    Its been a struggle to explain it all. I tried to just say that they are in heaven now and we pick a star and know they are looking down on us. I let him draw pictures, write letters etc
    and for the most part I let him think what he needs to think to grieve. Such as your son saying his aunt will come back on a plane, he may be in denial which is absolutely ok or that may be his way of dealing with it. When i was 17 I lost my cousin she was only 4 yrs older then me and to deal with it I pretending she went away travelling.
    it helped me
    always celebrate her life and always speak in past tense, eventually he will understand


  • when my pop passed away i told my daughter that he has gone to heaven and watches us from there. I have a large picture of him in our lounge room which she goes to talk to if shes feeling sad. its very hard and heart braking to explain to a child of any age what has happened.


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