For anyone, death can be a difficult topic. Explaining death to your children may be even more difficult because we want them to always keep their childlike wonder as long as we possibly can. However, it’s important that children understand that death is a part of life.
In the article, “Explaining Death to Children” by the Grief Healing Blog they discuss multiple areas of how we can go about explaining death to children in ways that they can understand and become a part of the process.
It can be a common thing to know when to include your children in this process. Please know that up front and honest communication is the most important tool in this case. The article explains that you want to keep it simple, avoid euphemisms (passed away, etc.), find out what they know about death, and encourage discussion on the circle of life.
The article continues by discussing that death is a family affair and anything a child can be a part of such as picking out music or adding a special photo or object into the casket may ease the transition of the meaning of death to them.
You also want to be cognizant of what other individuals are saying to your children during the service. Even though people mean well, sometimes their comments can be misguided, and it’s best to explain that people feel different things at different times.
The best thing about this article is that it also provides a large collection of other topics related to children and grief.
Any child old enough to love is old enough to mourn. ~ Alan D. Wolfelt