I broke down crying in front of my 4 year old. I need advice :(

Gina - posted on 11/08/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )




Hello everyone. I'm sorry for this lengthy post but it has to be in order to tell the whole story. Thank you in advance if you suffer any typos (which I'm certain will be there because I'm typing on my cell phone) and thank you in advance for any thoughts or advice.
~ Gina

It was 8am in the morning on November 3, 2012, my phone was ringing off the hook. I woke up, my husband did too wondering why someone was calling my cell phone so many times that early on a Saturday morning. My daughter came walking in the room as I answered the phone to my brother telling me my little sister had just died. I broke down crying like I have never cried before in my life. My husband quickly swooped up our angel and shuffled her off to her bedroom but it was too late, she saw me completely lose it.

We had to tell her why. Of course we would have anyway. I left 2 days later to go to Florida to help plan. I was gone for 8 days. She seemed sad for a little while. She had only met Aunt Sheri one time when she came up here to Kansas for a week to help me with Cara when I had back surgery.

Here it is a year later and for the past 2-3 months Cara keeps talking about Aunt Sheri and how she's sad because she died or she misses her. She says she dreams about her and Cara gets upset and asks me "Why do I have to keep dreaming about Aunt Sheri Mommy? It makes me sad." I ask her what she dreams and she says that Aunt Sheri is watching over her in her bed. I tell her that should make her happy that Aunt Sheri is protecting her but she just keeps saying she's sad and she misses her.

One time she even said she wanted to die so she could see her! Another thing: she has a picture of Sheri and she drew on the back of it and she told me "When I die you have to make SURE I have this with me Mommy so I can give it to Aunt Sheri. You HAVE to promise me NOW!"

What do I do? This is not right is it? My husband thinks it just a 4 year old processing death but I think it's more. Saying she wants to die? This is a person she met 1 time when she was maybe 2 years old.

Any advice or thoughts would be very much appreciated. Please, please no bashing or unkind words. I don't need them right now. I just need help. Thank you all so much! ♥ :)


Sarah - posted on 11/08/2013




I do think your husband is right. It is part of the process of growing up. My son had a similar thing where he would get very upset and say he was thinking about his grandad (who died before he was born) and about death. I don't know if it was something else that triggered this but it took about a year on and off for him to stop fretting about it. Is Aunt Sheri the only person she knows who had died? This may be the way that she is processing thought about death. The fact that she is dreaming about her says to me that it is her way of dealing with the idea that people do not live forever.

I just told my son how proud his grandad would be of him and how much he would have loved him and we spoke about what a special person he was and how it was ok to miss him.

Best wishes to you both

Gwen - posted on 11/08/2013




I think your husband is right, she is trying to process what happened. She saw you in terrible distress, so she obviously understands how important Aunt Shari was to you. She probably is acting the way she is because what's important to mommy is important to her. She's grieving because you are grieving. She misses her because you miss her. Just keep letting her talk about it and work through things as they come. Explain to her that Aunt Shari would never want her to die on purpose, that's why she's here watching over and protecting. Maybe you could attach the picture to a balloon and send it up to heaven. There are also lots of good children's books about death. Check a few out from the library to read together.


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Gina - posted on 11/08/2013




Thank you Gwen. I just thought a year later was a bit much but I think I will check out some books and tell her exactly what you said about Aunt Sheri not wanting her to die on purpose.

I appreciate your thoughts. ♥

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