Helping Kids Cope with Death, Funeral, and Grief
Today we are going to discuss on how to introduce death and funeral to kids. I know many parents would say why to introduce something like this to kids before they actually have to face it. However, based on my experience I can say that it is better to teach your kids about this sensitive topic well in advance before they actually face it. Read on what happened with this mom.
A mom on one of the forums asked me that ever since she had come from death and funeral of a family member, her son is asking all sort of questions to her about the departed sole – where is he now, why was ever one crying, why did we cover the body and so on. She simply could not understand how to introduce death and funeral to his 5-year-old kid.
Well, we all know death is a hard truth and you cannot hide it from your kid for long as somewhere he/she would see mourning, death, and funeral happening in the society and his/her anxious mind will be full of all sorts of questions. At a moment when your kid is questioning you mourning and death about all this, do not deviate from the topic as you would do no good.
Telling Kids about Death, Mourning, Funeral, and Grief
You should tell everything he is asking in a friendly way. Use simpler language and avoid using straight words like Death, Die, No longer with us etc to kids. Phrases like, we won’t be able to play with her anymore, she has gone to God etc should be used instead. You can use storybook characters to explain heaven and hell, angel and demon to them.
You should avoid lying to kids too. Be honest as lying that the deceased will come back as this would make them keep waiting and distrust. You should softly say that the deceased has gone to God because of the disease and now God will take care of him/her. Or you can say that the deceased has gone to stars and he is seeing us from heaven.
It is a myth that your kid will be scared if you tell them about death. Are you sure, it’s not your fear of death that you project through kids? If you miss the opportunity of teaching them about death and funerals, then they would have to learn it the hard way. Every kid deserves to know about it as much as any of us, as they won’t be able to avoid it forever.
Death is a hard time for everyone and the time following the death is even more chaotic and often filled with emotional turmoil. Make sure you teach your kid about such sensitive topic so that they can cope up with it and begin the path towards recovery.
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