Sunday, February 06, 2011

Talking to your kids about the death of a loved one

I had the talk with my daughter about Mommy's poor health. I tried to do something for the two of them where my daughter could trace her mom's hand in a book about the afterlife. She seemed interested at first, but then withdrew and insisted she wanted to play. It was then I knew it was time to talk to her.

I took her upstairs into our bedroom where nothing could distract us. I told her that she already knew Mommy was sick. The next part I told her she had never heard from me. I told her that she was not going to get healthy again. I could see the sadness in her eyes. I told her that Mommy was going to die soon. She asked me a couple of questions.

"Will there be a new Mommy?" No I said.

"You mean it's just going to be Daddy and kids?" Yes I said.

She later asked me "When Mommy dies will she be able to see everything?"

I pulled out a book I got from a social worker called the Invisible String about a Mom's solid bond with her kids and how that bond remains in tact when the kids and Mom are separated. I had a tough time getting the words out but I made it through.

It's my plan to answer any questions my daughter might have. I'll even check with her regularly to see if she has any and put her at ease that she can ask anything and I will be honest with her.

I got more questions later that night. She asked me "Is Mommy going to die for real?" Yes I said somberly. She then asked me if there are other kids who don't have mommies. I said yes and that there were many who don't have daddies but that her Daddy was not going anywhere and was going to take very good care of her and her brother.