How do you explain losing a loved one?

Laurie - posted on 12/03/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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One of the worst thing imaginable happened. Two weeks ago, my husband passed away in my arms at the age of 38. I try to explain to our daughters (2 1/2 yrs and 14 months) that Dadda was sick and we couldn't make him better, so he's in heaven. Our oldest, after seeing him at the viewing, said Dadda is sleeping in a white bed. We talk to him in the clouds everyday...tell him what we did that day and say we love him. Is there something else I could/should be doing? I don't know how much a 2 1/2 yr old can possibly grasp. She knows that when I cry it's because I miss Dadda. Can anyone give any advice or recommend a book that can help me through this nightmare?

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My husband was killed overseas (iraq). I told our son that daddy got hurt and wont be able to come home. I told him the medics (his dad was a medic also) werent able to fix him and he so he died and is in heaven now. I didnt let him see his daddy at the viewing I was scared it would confuse him and he would think he was sleeping. (He was 4 when this happened) We still talk about my husband and have pictures all over to remeber him by. He ask alot of questions I just answer them the best I know how.

Claudine - posted on 12/07/2009

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I just found a great book that I am reading on my iPhone...I am sure it is available in "real" format as well - Called "Guiding Your Child Through Grief", by Mary Ann Emswiler. I really like how it breaks down the grieving reactions by age group. Even though I am 18 months "in", it has a lot of insights into children's behavior after loss both immediate and long term. Thought I would share. Hope all is well with you. Hang in there!

Laurie - posted on 12/03/2009

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Thank you for your kindness...it's impossible to understand this unless you have or are going through it. Sometimes the support of complete strangers can be as comforting as the support of friends and family.

[deleted account]

Every child will be different and that will be up to you as to what they can "handle." Simple and true is always best. As they get older they may ask more questions and want more details. You can share with them when you're sad and let them know it's ok to be sad and miss him too. As far as books... my son is still too young to understand much as he was only an infant when his dad died... I have looked at some of these and may get one as he gets older and asks more about his dad.



http://www.amazon.com/Childrens-Books-Ab...

Claudine - posted on 12/03/2009

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My husband was 39 when he was killed 18 months ago in a motorcycle accident. My daughters were 6, 3, and 1. My oldest understood, the littlest one I'm afraid doesn't. My 3 year old was the toughest one, having no concept of death, and I told her Daddy would not be coming back, that he was in heaven, an angel now, watching over us. I think what you are doing is exactly the right thing, as they get older, you can explain more to them. The most important thing to do is to keep his memory alive, show them pictures, video if you have it, talk about how he loved them, etc. I have not had much luck with counselor, need to try that again perhaps when they are older, but that may be something you want to try for yourself, preferably someone who deals specifically in grieving. Hugs to you, and be strong. You will get through this, I promise. Love to ya!

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