Knowing what to say to your child about a death can be one of the most difficult challenges as a parent. You are not alone in this worry. First and foremost, give yourself grace. There is nothing perfect that can be said. Children can handle anything as long as they have been told the truth by a caring and compassionate adult.
Using concrete terms such as died and death can be scary for the adult, but can be very helpful and avoid later confusion for children.
As a parent, you likely want to do anything to prevent your child from feeling pain, however, “that only way to make them immune to the pain, was to make them impervious to love.” Your children will hurt when there is a death that is close to them. Your role is to be there for them through that pain and to tell them the truth about the death.
We hope the resources below can help. Imagine staff is here to support you as you prepare for this conversation.