How do you explain the death of a grandparent to your child?

Nobody wants their child to have to face the loss of death. When a grandparent passes away though everyone wants to help guide their children to understand what has happened. How have you or will you explain the death of a grandparent to your children? How do you help your children cope with their loss?

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2  Answers

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We had the privilege of our son having the chance to say goodbye to his great grandfather. Both at the hospital and at the funeral. It was amazing to see how attuned he was to those around him. He played quietly, bowed his head during prayers, and when the time came for those of us who wanted to see great grandpa and say goodbye; he came to me (his mom) and told me he wanted to go too. He is 4 and we didn't quite know how much he understood of what he was doing, but he leaned into great grandpa's ear and I heard him whisper:"ill miss you grandpa Andrew, but I'm glad you're not hurting anymore.". It brought me to my knees and I couldn't believe the amount of care and thought he put into his actions. We may not think it but children do have the understanding required to feel loss but with that loss comes a remarkable ability to let go and move on too. Our son still talks about grandpa Andrew having been sick and having died, and right on the heels of those thoughts comes the blunt statement: "but he's okay now even though he's kinda far away". God bless him!

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i recently lost a dear friend then 2 wks later the day after the mothers furnaral the son passed away too trying to explane it to a child with learning difficulties is very hard as thay dont seem to understand at all even my 8 yr old was mixed up he was under the expreshion that we was all going to die too things like this are very hard to get your head around so how can a 4 year old get his head around this my mind boggles

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I have never had to do this before, and I am not looking forward to this.. sorry for your loss firstly, but for me I would keep it very simple and short. I would simply let them know that grandma or grandpa was a little sick, so he or she went up to heaven to be healthy and happy again, and that he or she is watching over us.. Maybe depending on how old the child is, you can make them understand that everyone has to go some day and that sometimes age is the reason..just say it lightly and in a way you know your child will not be so hurt by it.. It is a very sensitive subject but it is really hard to sugar coat death. I am sure your child will be sad but.. time does heal everything.. it does not ever completely go away but it becomes easier to deal with as time goes is what I meant... good luck I hope this helped at least a bit... and sorry again... :(

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My dad suddenly passed away at 51 two months ago. He was fit and healthy then suddenly he had brain cancer and died 3mths after his first headache so it was all very quick and sudden. I spent 8-12hrs every day of that 3mths with my mum and dad in the hospital and often brought my children with me. They are 7, 5, 4 and 15mths. They were amazing in the hospital, we were very honest with them, we let them make all their own choices if they wanted to come in and see him, come in to ICU etc. My mum and I did a 2 day crash course in caring for my dad (he became paralyzed from one of his surgeries) and we brought him home for 8 days to spend with his family and friends. My kids watched me injecting dad with his medications and we dealt with all their questions as they arose. I did stop my kids from seeing dad in his last 3 days as it was too much in my opinion for them. But they came to his viewing, they came to his funeral and they came to spread his ashes. My dad was their biggest idol and I'm truly amazed at how well they have coped. They watch his funeral DVD every few days and they have dads funeral songs on their iPods. I was left to organise dads funeral and the older ones helped me in choosing which photos and songs we should use. My 7yo and 5yo both got up in front of the 400+ people at dads funeral and read a letter they each wrote to him. I arranged for bears with dads photo on them for him to give the kids and they sleep with these bears. We had photos taken of my dad with the bears filling them all up with cuddles. We also had one made with all the grandkids photo on it which we had sitting on dads coffin and we had cremated with dad so the kids know poppy is always cuddling them too. It's definately been the hardest thing I've ever had to do but I'm so glad I involved my kids as much as I could and they were comfortable with. There was days they wouldn't go near him, which was heartbreaking and then dads they didn't want to leave.

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