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Talking to Kids About Death


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I can't remember who posted awhile ago asking how to tell small children about death.

This past week Jillian's little friend lost her mother to leukemia. They are in the same kindergarten class. A note came home today stating that the counselor had come in to talk to the kids. They read a story called Gentle Willow about dying. I will see if I can find a name of the author and post it.


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We were lent Maria Shriver's "What is Heaven?" I also was told about one call "Freddy the Fallen/Falling Leaf" and "Seasons" ... I will have to do some research and find the exact titles and authors.

My little guy, Scott, is having some separation problems lately and some of it might be a delayed reaction to all of our experiences during November with Dad. We are working through it and he has verbalized some things to indicate that he is "thinking" about this and other things that might be scarey to him. I wish he had a little sign on his forehead that told me exactly what was going on and how to help but I guess he didn't stand in line for that option or like his 'owner's manual' it has been lost. :wink:

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We also used a book called Badger's Parting Gift for the girls when my MIL passed away.

Funny that this topic came up because I think my 6yr old is still grieving for Matt's mother and it has been 2 1/2 yrs since she passed. She had to put together a collection of 100 things for the 100th day of Kindergarden and we did stickers that represented different members of our family and she was adament that we do a section for Nonna and it be right by hers etc. And she has been acting out a lot more lately - like she used to do right after she passed away. It just goes to show just as we continue to grieve so do they.

Thank you for a very timely topic and some good resources.

Also, K and Kids - I also have the book you are talking about - The Fall of Freddie the Leaf - by Leo Buscaglia - it is a wonderful book as well I bought it when I was in college after my grandma died + I am a big fan of Leo Buscaglia!!!1

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Thanks for posting this. I discussed how to broach this with my son. I was having a hard time figuring out exactly how much to share and how to handle this discussion with my son. My Rabbi suggested just to tell him the truth (which I had been doing), but more or less wait for my son to ask me questions. This way I could judge best.

Last week we found out that there is a nodule in my dads other lung. I haven't shared that with Ryan yet. I'm waiting until we know what course we are taking and then I will talk with Ryan so he understands what the possible outcomes might be (like Grandpa can't sit when he is compromsed and my kids are sick, or Grandpa has a rash, etc.).

Thanks again.


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