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8 Answers

How do I explain to my daughter that a loved one in our family has recently passed away? I don’t want to scare her, but at the same time, she is very smart and mature for a 4 year old and she understands somewhat what is going on around her? How do I explain our loved one is gone?


Posted by mom143044, 22nd October 2015


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  • My eldest 2 were 4 and 5yrs old when my sister died after suffering kidney cancer. I guess that going through the period of sickness, seeing me crying, visiting my sister, praying together was helpful for them to understand that it was serious and once she died we went to the funeral together and shared tears. Still it can be quite hard for them to understand what death is at that age. I remember I played a video of my sister after her death and my daughter was asking if i was skyping with my sister from heaven. I actually thought that was really beautiful.


  • I would be off to the local library and see what they have on their shelves. There are books for all ages explaining difficult life subjects


  • I think letting her know that even though they’ve passed away, they will always be in your heart and that they will be remembered. Sorry for your loss.


  • just simply in kid terms. sorry for your loss.


  • At first our six year old had no idea of the concept of death, so that had to be explained, as well as the actual loved one’s death. We went for the medical explanation, saying that our loved one’s heart was too sick to keep working, so they died. We had to explain the concept of death quite a few times over a few weeks, as well as reassuring the child that they loved them and the loved one didn’t want to leave them. We were also given a picture book by the funeral home which was suitable for the child’s age and that was very helpful.


  • Tough one mum! I would keep it as simple as possible, she’s only four. You can add more as they get older and able to understand more


  • You need to be honest but gentle. If the person was unwell explain that they were very sick. You can mention that the person has become an angle and is living in the stars and she can wave and say goodnight when she goes to bed.


  • I think this is one situation where you have to be honest. You should explain that every living thing dies eventually and it’s very sad but it’s part of nature. Incorporate your own beliefs into your explanation.


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