Dealing with death is especially challenging for young children. The first time they experience a loss can be overwhelming and confusing as they try to grasp what’s happened. As a parent or guardian, you may be overwhelmed explaining death to your child while also dealing with your own grief. That’s why our team here at Roupp Funeral Home is here to help. If you’ve recently lost a loved one and need help explaining it to your child, check out our tips below.
Use Clear, Concise Language
While it’s easier to say things like, “he passed away,” or “he’s gone on to a better place,” steer clear of vague wording like this when explaining death to your child. They need to understand that death is permanent, so even though it's harder for you in the moment, it will benefit them in the long run.
Allow Your Child Time to Process
Every child reacts differently to death. They may be sad, angry, or still confused. Whatever the case may be, give them time to process in their own way. This means answering any questions they have, comforting them while they cry, or simply giving them space. This would also be a good time to talk about death and religion, but only if your child is familiar with it.
Explain What Happens Next
Once your child understands what death means and has had time to process it, explain what will happen next. You can explain to them how after a person dies, we have to say goodbye. This can be done by having a funeral and having family and friends gather to say goodbye together.
If you are having a funeral or memorial service for your loved one, explain how the events work. Let them know people will be coming to pay their respects and they will likely be sad and crying. Then, explain how the burial works and answer any additional questions they may have.
Explaining death to your child is a difficult task, especially in the midst of your grief, but we hope this small guide will help lighten your burdens. If you need any additional help as your child navigates grief, call our office today at 570-966-2402. We care about your family’s emotional health more than you know.