3 Tips to Help Explain the Concept of Death to a Child

The concept of death is often very difficult for young children to wrap their head around. Even after they’ve attended your loved one’s funeral or visited their crematorium in Philadelphia, many parents find that their children still request to visit grandma or another family member who has passed on. If you’ve recently lost a family member or close friend, use our tips to help your little ones understand what’s going on — and how they can deal with the emotions they’re feeling.

● Use clear and concise language. When explaining that a family member has died, use direct language that leaves little room for interpretation. Avoid using phrases like “passed on” or “went to the other side,” as these may confuse young children. Instead, be sympathetic yet direct: “I have something very sad to tell you. Your aunt Michelle died this morning.”

● Encourage children to express their feelings. It’s normal for children to feel a range of emotions when someone they knew has died. They may feel sad, guilty, scared, or even a bittersweet happiness if their loved one was religious or was very sick at their time of death. Encourage children to express their feelings and put them into words. It may help to tell your child how you feel as well to encourage them to open up.

● Tell your child what to expect in the coming days and weeks. Allow your child to participate in the remembrance process and explain what will happen before and during the funeral and procession. If your child is old enough, ask him or her if he or she would like to read a prayer or recite a poem during your loved one’s memorial.

If you’ve recently lost a loved one, McCafferty Funeral Home is here to support you in your time of need. Our funeral home and Philadelphia crematories are available on-call to assist you. Give our team a call at 215-531-5014 for assistance, no matter the time of day or night.