Communicating the sad demise of a family member to the child is very difficult for a parent. Kids have a special attachment to care givers, relatives and grandparents. But certain things in life seem unpredictable and children must be given a positive outlook while communicating the permanent absence owing to death of a relative. Generally kids understand logic very well but yet are very vulnerable to memories and often grieve silently.
My friend’s son still pines for his Grandpa and often they find him touching the photo frame or doing an outburst when he makes statements that his Grand pa is the best. But that is how it will be and yet the kids must be convinced that they are loved and their relative who is no longer with them is just safe and sound with the Almighty. On seeing movies my daughter Nishika often asks me what death is and why that person died.
I somehow have managed to explain to her that just as a flower wilts and new flowers appear as blossoms on a tree or just like when we cut our hair or nails new growth is assured similarly God has planned this for the person. She is very positive that when we get old, we die and become a star. The star loves clouds and rainbows. Innocent minds have their own way of reasoning and yet it is important for us to be with them during times of emotions.
Extra care and attention for a few days is certainly important. Though we rarely have control over our emotions during such times it is ideal that we give a positive impression and yet give a true picture of the happenings. Over the years, kids accept the fact and also attach reason to the life-death cycle. A good emotional support is also found in the wealth of friends whom they are able to freely express.