Discussing the Death of a Child with Children
By From Grind to Whine on June 18, 2012
It is with a very heavy heart that I write this post today. An eight-year-old boy in my son’s class died over the weekend from a tragic fall.
We were notified by the school so we could discuss it with our children before they arrived at school on Monday. My family was on our way out the door to celebrate Father’s Day with my parents when I received the phone call with the devastating news.
I called my 2nd grade son over to talk with him about his classmate. When I told him what had happened, my son just stood there, big brown eyes as wide as saucers, silently looking at me. As his mom, I saw so many things in his eyes at that moment. I saw shock. I saw confusion. Mostly, though, I saw “Help,” just written across his young face.
Help me understand what you just said, how it happened, why it happened and what it means.
He didn’t say any of those things. And, as I’ve learned so many times since becoming a parent, you can never really tell what anyone else is thinking. You know your children and you hope you can guess, but you can never really know for sure.
This boy whose life was cut way too short, was a quiet boy, like my son. They weren’t very close, but they sat together at lunch most days and were friendly toward each other. I guess I expected something more of a response or reaction from my son. But he didn’t say anything.
“How are you feeling about all of this?” I asked him.
“I’m sad because I know this is a sad thing and I’m supposed to feel sad,” he started, then trailed off.
“Are you confused?” I asked, silently beseeching him to share his thoughts with me so I could help him.
“Yes because nothing like this has ever happened before,” he told me.
Read the rest, including tips on how to talk to your children about death at From Grind to Whine:
Being Mommy from first slurp to last sip.
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