Author Topic: Talking with Children About Loss  (Read 739 times)

Captains wife

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Talking with Children About Loss
« on: June 15, 2015, 04:18:10 PM »
My son, at almost, 4 has started really talking about his Dad - where is he? that he misses him, why cant he see him ? He has no memory of him I think as he died when my son was only 9 months. I originally handled this by telling him Daddy was in heaven, looking down and watching over him (even though I am not religious) because I honestly didn't know how to handle it.

I just finished reading the book "Talking with Children About Loss" by Maria Trozzi and I actually met with her in person recently to discuss how to handle the situation with my son and his loss. The book covers many different types of losses but does cover the loss of a parent well. The bottom line is that we need to be honest with our children about death, explain it in certain terms. The problem with telling my son that Daddy is in heaven, as the therapist explained, is that my son cant differentiate Heaven as a place vs. another place. So in a sense he might feel like he is being abandoned - I didn't think about that when I told him about being in Heaven. So I sat my son down the other day and clearly told him that Daddy had a rare accident, his body stopped working and that as a result he died - and we cant ever see him again. But I told him how much his Daddy wished he was here to see him grow into such an amazing boy, how his spirit was in Heaven and watching over him (have to be a bit careful on how to explain it so he doesn't think its a ghost) and that I missed Daddy very much too. But I also reassured him that I was going to take good care of him, he also has his nanny and both sets of grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins loving him and looking out for him.

It was a tough conversation but I did find the book helpful and wanted to pass this along for similar widows/widowers with young children who are struggling to explain the concept of loss to their sons/daughters.

keeptrying

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Re: Talking with Children About Loss
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2015, 04:56:30 PM »
I didn't know how to tell my children, so I told them he was on a business trip. As a week, two weeks went by the kids kept asking every day. He isn't gone for long periods of time, just a couple days or a week at the most when he goes, so it got harder and harder, and I started to panic even more, knowing that I would have to tell them at some point. I just had no idea what to say and how it would affect them. I broke down and stumbled through the awkward and almost impossible talk. I still don't think I did it right. They asked a million questions, I had no idea what to say. every now and then still do. I think I did pretty good though, over all. Until of course they get older. I don't even know how to do that one.  - 
 Thank you for the information about the book. I will be looking into it. Any help in this whole process is always a great thing.