Talking to Children About the Death of a Relative

Death is part of life. It's important for children to understand this. We'd encourage you to be open and honest with your kids about their grandfather's passing. Look for teachable moments and opportunities to talk frankly, not only about what's happened, but also about their feelings about it. Let them know that you miss grandpa, too, and that it's okay to feel sad when we lose a loved one.

Be sure to use age-appropriate language. Bear in mind that most young children don't have the capacity to grasp abstract concepts like death and eternity. There's a good chance that they will not fully understand what has happened to their grandfather and won't be able to appreciate the permanence of death. So keep the discussion simple. Gear it to your children's level of maturity and insight. Most of all, focus on God's promise of eternal life to all who believe in Jesus. It's vital to concentrate on this hopeful aspect of death.

Our staff counselors would be pleased to discuss your situation with you over the phone. Don't hesitate to call us.

 

Resources
Children and Grief: Helping Your Child Understand Death

It's Okay to Cry: A Parent's Guide to Helping Children Through the Losses of Life

Referrals
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

Articles
How to Help Your Child Grieve

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