What Do I Say To The Children?
By Craig Mulkey, Mulkey-Mason Funeral Home, South Denton County LIVING WELL Magazine
One of the most difficult times in life is after the loss of a loved one. It can be hard to know what to say to someone when a death occurs. It is even more difficult when the person experiencing the loss is a child. How do you explain to them that grandma or grandpa is not here anymore? Maybe even someone closer like mom or dad? Talk to them; find out what they understand about death. You will often find that they have misconceptions, fears, and worries about death. When a child asks questions about death, answer them truthfully, and on a level they understand.
Children are not as fragile as we sometimes think they are. There are times when irrational fears about God, doctors, hospitals, cemeteries and even sleep, develop because of things they hear people say. It is important to talk to them about death and ask them what they think. Address those things that are not correct. Help them develop a healthy understanding of death and dying. The natural desire to shelter them can be a harmful mistake. Faith can play a very important role in helping children cope and deal with a painful time in their life.
Questions often arise from a child such as, “Is death like sleeping?” Explain to them that the body has a job, and when someone dies, the job of that body is done. A child’s fears and worries can be calmed by giving them information they understand and can associate with.
Explain to them that this is a normal cycle of life. Talk about being a child, then growing up to be a teenager, young adult, mom or dad, and then a grandparent. This is part of that cycle. While it is sad and painful, we have a wonderful gift called memories. Comfort them and assure them. Encourage them to talk about their loved one. Laugh, have fun, and remember happy times. It will be a healing process for not only the children, but for you as well.
The directors at Mulkey-Mason Funeral Home would consider it an honor to visit with you about your personalized pre-need interests. Please call us at 972-436-4581 to schedule an appointment.