The Death Talk

Recently, I told my daughter that her Great Uncle Kenny would have loved her.  She embodies his favorite things. She is full of joy, always singing and dancing and marching to the beat of her own drummer. It amazes me how very compassionate this small human is. Sometimes I worry she is too good for this world as well. 

Kenny was taken away from our family at the age of 35. His death has rippled through our family for nearly 20 years and still causes tears.  

Telling my daughter that Kenny would have loved her brought a smile to my face but quickly became a talk I dreaded. 

O said, “Can we go see him?”

I said, “No.”

O said, “We can go to his house.”

“No, we really can’t, baby. He no longer lives here on earth. He’s with God in heaven.” I said, choking back tears. 

“Oh. Why he there?” She said. 

“He died long ago, O. But mommy still loves him very much. I wish he got a chance to love you like I love you.”

Death talks are never fun. My daughter has been to three funerals in her three years. I know she still doesn’t understand the permenant nature of death, but I hope I’ve equipped her well. 

How would you have the death talk with a toddler?


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