My thoughts and prayers are with the family, especially Emma. She got to know grandpop over the past couple months and she liked him very much.
She is blissfully unaware right now, but the questions will come. They can’t be blown off – she simply doesn’t fall for distractions so easily anymore.
How deep you explain death to a three year old – one that is intellectually curious and has the smarts to handle it – will be hard. Even if it is the simple, “he’s in heaven, with mom-mom Rita and God”.
Karl – My condolences to you and Richelle.
Explaining death to a child is hard.
The standard might be: Pop Pop had work to do for God in heaven so he went there to help, but you’ll see him again someday.
But if she’s inquisitive that will be followed up by the questions of “What is he helping with?” So be prepared…
Or you could go with the truth about the cycle of life and death if she’s intuitive enough to understand that…
Good luck my friend, it’s going to be tough…
Wow. Time does funny things. Whether it’s the aging process that leads us into the great beyond, or the maturation of little girl who I can’t believe is 3 already.
It’s hard to figure out how much to tell a young child. To be honest, I don’t know how much of my 3-year-old life I can even recall, or how many of the philosophical qualities of life or death I would have grasped.
Though I’m sure you’ve already done some online homework on the topic, I figured I’d point you in the direction of a pretty decent article:
The Baby Center piece actually contains a few pointers about the possible pitfalls of speaking too metaphorically or using euphemisms. I’ve seen a couple instances where such advice wasn’t followed and it opened up a few cans of worms (speaking of metaphor).
Anyway, I hope you, Richelle, Emma and everyone else affected by this loss get through it okay.
Thoughts are with you and yours Karl.
Rather than offer complex advice, I will say kids are pretty reslieant and understand the concept of death much better than we think they do. Keeping it very simple whether you think she will understand it or not – in time she will naturally realize he is gone and will ask questions. In her time, she will better understand.
Again, my deepest thoughts going out to your family. You are all very blessed to be close and have one another to see through the pain of loss.
Thanks for the thoughts you three.