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How Do You Explain Death to Children?

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Our beloved hamster after 2 years died.. I could try to replace it with new one and pretend it's all ok. But I dont think its good for kids...you can't save them from everything. But it's hard to explain what death is... I told my young son that his hamster went to sleep. But now he's in heaven. And I told him that he might come back as someone else in his next life. He seemed satisfied and decided that his hamster will come back as a whale.. I believe in reincarnation myself and I think it makes it easier to cope with loss. How would you explain death to kids?

BlueOrchid
1 month ago
What do you think of this?
blacklabrador
blacklabrador1 month ago

I think you explained it pretty well.

Not to belittle the life of your Hamster (as a pet owner I know how devastating their loss can be) but it is almost a "good" gateway to broach death with young ones.

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BlueOrchid
BlueOrchid
Original Poster
1 month ago

blacklabrador luckily we haven't had any deaths of family members yet... but we still had a mini funeral and buried him in the ground... My first experience with death scarred me for life.. In Lithuania it's normal to have open caskets... and that many years ago quite often it was kept at home for a few days... with all the mourners, flowers, candles and an open casket it was terrifying..

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blacklabrador
blacklabrador1 month ago

BlueOrchid Sounds like that experience was very much an "In at the deep end" affair.

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BlueOrchid
BlueOrchid
Original Poster
30 days ago

blacklabrador it might be that I'm a sensitive person...I went to four such funerals... and they make the person look so peaceful even slightly smiling. Like a person who is asleep rather than someone who passed away. I would rather remember person alive and happy as a last memory...I think closed casket is definitely better.

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Imnotcheap
Imnotcheap1 month ago

Unfortunately I had to tell my kids that nanna died earlier this year. The eldest was able to understand bit trickier with the younger two but I just has to tell them all she died. I don't believe in life after death myself

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BlueOrchid
BlueOrchid
Original Poster
30 days ago

Imnotcheap I'm sorry for your loss. It's very hard when its family member...especially if you were close. I hope you and your kids are ok❤

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BonzoBanana
BonzoBanana1 month ago

Love the fact he decided it's coming back as a whale. Death is such a horrible thing and I totally understand the need to reduce the impact of the news of it. I think anything that helps is worth doing even if you don't believe in reincarnation or any after life yourself. I remember my childhood with great fondness and maybe part of that is some ignorance about the reality of the world, as they say ignorance is bliss.

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BlueOrchid
BlueOrchid
Original Poster
1 month ago

BonzoBanana exactly... the kids grow up so quick these days... especially with all technology which is out there. He is great kid with huge imagination so I wouldn't expect anything less of him. He loved "Brian" (he chose the name too) dearly. He keeps asking me for a puppy for few years now. But any animal is responsibility and I dont think it's fair to leave them alone in the house while everyone is at work/school etc. Maybe in a few years.

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Getsome
Getsome1 month ago

I don't have kids and this is something i would struggle with as the easiest option is to lie and say they have went to heaven but i don't believe in any of it and i don't know if i could even lie about it.

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BlueOrchid
BlueOrchid
Original Poster
1 month ago

Getsome no one knows what's happening to you when you die. Your body disintegrates but what happens to your soul/consciousness?... I do believe that there's something else after I don't know if it's exactly heaven or what but I do believe that there's something where it goes... And I believe in reincarnation. Also I read quite interesting article that baby chooses their parents. I found it an interesting thought.

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Getsome
Getsome1 month ago

BlueOrchid Well thats what you believe and i believe you just die and thats it. So i may be easier for you to explain but i wont for me as i cant believe it as there is nothing to support it.

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BlueOrchid
BlueOrchid
Original Poster
30 days ago

Getsome that's true. But there are plenty people who had close to death experience and they remember things. Also there is nothing to support it yet. At some point people thought that the earth was flat until it was proved otherwise. So you never know one day they might find out more🙂

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Johnny
Johnny1 month ago

With kids I think it's generally best to keep as close to the truth as possible.

I would explain that some animals live a lot longer than others

  • Hamster 2 years
  • Dog 10-13 years
  • Cat 10-20 years
  • Elephant 50-70 years
  • Human 80 years

Once they get used to the idea, other deaths will become easier to deal with

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BlueOrchid
BlueOrchid
Original Poster
30 days ago

Johnny it's very pragmatic answer. I think it would be great to explain for a kid who's 10-12yrs old. My son just turned 7. And not long ago he went through death fear. Also he's very precise. If I would tell him that humans lives 80 years he then will ask about exceptions etc. I feel my answer was enough for him for now. He is rather mature but in some aspects still rather childish.

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