I am about to tell my four year old that his uncle has died.

Lena - posted on 07/02/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )




My 26year old brother died, (committed suicide), almost a month ago now. My 4 year old son does not know, although I am sure he has become aware of the conversations as we do talk lovingly remembering him. We do not talk about my brothers choice or how he passed or that he passed around my son. My counselor has advised me that the sooner I tell my son that his uncle has died the better. I am planning to tell him that his heart stopped working, and that he died. I am planning to answer whatever questions he has. I am looking to see if anyone else has had this similar dilemma and if there is any further advice out there for me before I embark on this part of the journey.


Kathy - posted on 07/02/2010




My daughter was 4 when her Grandpa died. He died from a massice heart attack while driving. I picked her that morning from his house-she came home in his flannel jammie top. I told her that Grandpa had died and gone to heaven. When she asked how he died, I told her that his body got sick and his heart stopped beating. When she asked if she would ever get to see him again, I told her no because he went to heaven to be an angel. We concentrated on discussing good memories of Grandpa with her. Keeping the discussion honest and age appropiate helped her understand the situation. Also answer all questions honestly but toned down to the age level. We chose to remember the life of Grandpa instead of the death of Grandpa-we still do. It has helped not only my daughter deal with his death but my husband as well who lost his father. Good luck!

Karen - posted on 07/02/2010




very sorry that you have to go through this! first, let me say i haven't personally experianced this, but i have watched my dear friend explain this to her children (very similar situation to you) and she also said his heart didn't work anymore...however, it made her oldest son (5 at the time) scared that his heart would stop working and he cried all the time thinking he was going to be going to heaven because his heart would stop workin....i'm just wondering if it might be better to say something more like it was his time to go to heaven where he could be his angel and keep him safe instead....my friend found out the hard way that if she gave her child something that he could relate to (ie. he was sick and went to heaven or his heart stopped working) it made him scared and i would hate for that to happen to you....just something to think about, but you know your child and know how he would react. good luck and best wishes!

Angie - posted on 07/02/2010




First, I am so sorry for your family's loss.

I think you are wise in your decision not to tell him that his uncle committed suicide. When my husband's mom died and my daughter was 2 and my son 7 we told them that grandma had died and was with Jesus now. We let them ask questions and we answered them honestly.


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