Children and Death
The death of a grandparent may be a child's first experience with that
last stage of life on this earth. Parents want to be helpful to their young
children as they mourn their loss but don't always know what to say. We
have a number of books in our church library written to help. They are
good to share with your elementary age child before a death occurs so that
some understanding will already be there when it happens. They are also
valuable to share together as you work through your grief after a death.
Victor Parachin has written some guidelines on helping a child deal with
death for an article in Children's Ministry. They include the following:
Take time to help a child cope with death and he will develop the
coping skills he needs.
Use simple, concrete language.
Avoid euphemisms. You can image the problems when a young child
hears "Grandmother is sleeping" or "We lost daddy today."
Give ample reassurance. A child's grief may be increased by fear.
Give constant loving reassurance.
Be a role model. Be genuine about your grief and do not try to put
up a false front. A child is very confused when our words say one thing
but our actions show a different message.
Emphasize God's love. Remind your child that God loves us and wants
to help us. We can bring all of our fears and worries to Him.
--Carol Locke, Lebanon, Tennessee
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, MayJun01.