Children’s Grief Tip #CGAPHOPE
It is important to use correct language. We must use the words dead and died, not asleep, gone away or lost. We go away on trips and come back, we lose things and find them again. Being dead has a whole different meaning.
Children will take our language literally. Using the correct language helps avoid some confusion our kids may feel.
A mom shared a story with me about her and her child visiting the cemetery where Dad was. Mom explained that this is where Dad’s body is. After a few minutes her child asked, “If this is where Daddy’s body is then where is his head?”
What makes sense to us as adults, children can have a different understanding of the same words. Be clear, concise and exact when talking to them. You can always ask them what they understand to make sure there is no confusion.
This is probably the hardest part for parents. It broke my heart every time I had to tell my son that his Dad wasn’t coming back, to explain what death meant, to hold him tight as he cried for his Dad. It was devastating for me. I would choke on my words and literally feel sick as I tried to explain death to my son.
To all the parents out there struggling to find the words – we hold you close. Never hesitate to reach out and ask for help – we are here.