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  1. Wow! Is all I can say!
    To answer your question, honesty is best. I am a Christian and I believe when ppl pass, they are just dead, until the second coming of Christ and they are all gathered to Heaven. There is not a single scripture supporting that they are taken by angels and watching over us. My mother died right after my 4th bday. I was told she was in Heaven, with the angels, watching over me. Every year on her bday, we would buy a helium balloon and release it, and I would watch it struggle to rise in the December air, hoping it would reach Heaven. When I was older and read the Bible, I realized she wasn’t in Heaven watching over me and when I confronted those who had told me so, they agreed with my theology and that they had simply told me that to comfort me as a child. I found that annoying. I would have preferred what they had actually perceived as the truth. It wouldn’t have been too hard. Our believes would have sounded like this “Honey, the man was in a really bad car accident. He wasn’t searing his seatbelt, that’s why he was laying in the field. When someone is in such a bad car accident, they usually get hurt. This man was really hurt. He was hurt so badly he stopped breathing. Sometimes ppl are able to be saved, but he was too badly broken to be able to breathe again, so he died. When someone dies, they don’t feel anything, no more pain. .. and then, if wanted, include your theology on what happens to the dead. I believe that when you die it is as if you are sleeping, but I wouldn’t tell young children that, because then they equate sleeping with death and can experience sleep phobia.

  2. Wow what an incredible and sad story! Good for you though for calling for help and keeping your cool with the kids, I can only imagine how difficult that would be for me. As someone who was always way too impressionable as a child I can say that you also probably did the right thing by not opening the “death” can of worms until necessary…

  3. What a scary situation! It sounds like you handled it great though. I guess it is even tougher because you don’t know what happened and if that man recovered. You never know, they might have been able to bring him back. The fact that they were doing CPR is good, right? So you could tell your daughter that he is getting better or that he died. I would explain death to my child through the lens of our religion. It is very comforting to me that families can be together forever and there is no more pain, fear, etc. in heaven. I don’t know what you believe, but that is how I would do it. One woman above posted about getting some children’s books about death from the library, that’s a good idea too.

  4. Wow! How scary. You kept your cool and did the right thing. I can’t imagine how panicked you must have felt. Way to keep cool and keep ir safe for your little ones. Such a great mom!

  5. You did the ultimate kindness by calling 911. How many other vehicles may have driven by and either not noticed or not want to get involved.

    EXPLAINING DEATH TO CHILDREN by Earl Grollman is a very good resource for explaining death to children. Your local library probably has other such books. It’s best to be honest with children so they continue to trust you.

    There is a form of art therapy where children draw pictures of pain, anger, sadness, etc. Funeral parlors can suggest AFTERCARE resources to deal with different stages of bereavement/loss. Good luck to you.

  6. wow..wow..WOW!!
    That is SO unfortunate!
    You did a wonderful job keeping cool in the heat of the
    moment. I’m sad that your daughter is so worried but I am sure you will find a way to put her at ease.
    Huge hug & high five to you!! I hope the rest of your week is MUCH less eventful especially en route to Safety Town!

  7. My son died when he was an infant, and my older daughter saw the emt’s do their thing. There is not an easy way to explain it … just be truthful. If you belong to a faith then draw on that. My son who was born after the death of my older son will tear up at times thinking about the brother he never met. Death is a part of life. When they are young like this and you have their hearts and their trust is, in my mind, easier than explaining it to an older teen or young adult. The first funeral I ever attended was the funeral of my son. Honesty. It’s the only way. It’s hard though. 🙁

  8. Oh huge hugs!!! It’s hard to have to explain that situation to a child. We had a horrible accident where a semi hit a SUV. The driver (mom) was killed almost on impact and 2 of her children were in the car with her. The 2 kids are ok, but needed to be pulled out of the car. My 8 yr old witnessed the accident while on her school bus coming home.

    I found that it’s best to be honest. If you say that they are ok, they may want to go see that person, send a card, etc.

    Lots of patience and understanding. Hope that the nightmares aren’t too bad for your 6 yr old.

  9. What a horrible thing to have to come upon, especially with kids in tow. Holy moly – you did an awesome job!

    My Mom passed away 8 days before my son’s second birthday and we’ve been dealing with the death issue for two years now. I thought he would have forgotten some stuff by now… nope!

    At the time we explained it like this: Grandma was sick. She was so sick that the doctors tried all their medicines and they just couldn’t fix her. The only way she would get to feel better was to fly up to the stars and watch over all of us. We couldn’t see her anymore but she could see us and she would feel all better.

    It was sweet when we would be outside looking at the stars and he would search for the shiniest one and wave or look out on a really starry night and say “Look at all the Grandmas!” but it was just a temporary fix. It worked for the first few years but now he’s getting older and wiser and we need to come up with a better explanation. It’s such a hard subject!

  10. When my great grandfather died, my kids great great grandfather, we told them that he went to live with the angels so he could watch over us more carefully, and see everything we do. My oldest is 5, and now he makes sure to use his manners because “papa is watching”.

    I know its different because its someone you dont know, but if you HAVE to tell her, tell her that the man was hurt, and the angels had a spot for him in Heaven, and the man chose to go to heaven, so he didn’t have to hurt anymore.

    Hope this helps.

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