How do you explain to 2 four year olds about death and heaven?

Janelle - posted on 05/04/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )




My dad died yesterday and I don't know how to tell my twin girls who are 4 about him dying and heaven. And that they won't see him again for a long time. It's really hard because those were his babies. And My 12 year old is taking it really hard. How do I help her. And trying to be the strong one in front of the kids?


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Amy - posted on 05/06/2013




Be very open and honest. Answer their questions to the best of your ability. I know it's not the same but we lost our dog suddenly when my daughter was 2 1/2, we talked to her about heaven and let her know it was not a place we could go visit. Now at 3 she talks about how she's in heaven and wants her to come home to visit us but I just remind her it's not possible. I'm sure it will be incredibly difficult but honesty is the way to go. I'm sorry for your loss. Depending on how the older one processes everything, you may want to speak to the school psychologist who can help her deal with it.

Janelle - posted on 05/04/2013




Where Baptist and the little ones kind of understand and my dad was healthy. He just had a bad stroke. And passed and they go to bible study so they kind of understand God's word, I just don't know how to explain it.

Angela - posted on 05/04/2013




I'm so sorry for your bereavement. I don't know what you should do. My kids were adults when my own parents died, they were adults when my ex-husband died.

I'm sure a 12 year old would understand death, the two small ones are more difficult to deal with. It will be painful for all of them, of course. Was your father ill for some time before his death or was it very sudden and unexpected?

Have you talked about religious issues ever before with your 2 little ones? Do they know about Heaven and the afterlife? Do you believe in it yourself - or are you a non-believer who is looking for a way to soften the blow for your kids?

I'm personally a Christian but I respect that not everyone else is one, or even that everyone else has ANY religious beliefs - that's why I'm asking you those questions. Also, if you're a believer, I would assume you have shared your faith with your children and they would already know about death, Heaven and the afterlife. Of course that doesn't necessarily prepare them for the loss of someone close to them when they're only 4.

I believe there are books to help children understand death and loss - you can find these written from a religious perspective and also from a non-religious perspective. Of course, such books are better shared with children BEFORE a loved one dies, but right now you don't have the luxury of time.

I hope you find a solution to the difficult and painful problem of bereavement when you have children to explain it to. I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help. Good luck.

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