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Everyone experiences grief a bit differently, and kids experience grief different than adults.

The tremendous loss suffered by the Chilongo impacts all of us at Lighthouse, our kids included.

We wanted to provide you with some words and resources which provide a bit of guidance during this time.

How to talk to a child about death

First and foremost:  Pray and ask God for guidance.

Secondly, talking about death should be natural.  As hard as it may be for your child to understand death - to some degree - they can see how all things die.   Talk about how some things live only a short time - like a flower.  And other things live a long time - like a sea turtle.  But all things will eventually die.

I would keep Lamentations 3 handy and maybe refer to this scripture.

There is a time for everything.

    There’s a time for everything that is done on earth.

There is a time to be born.

    And there’s a time to die.

There is a time to plant.

    And there’s a time to pull up what is planted.

I would remind them that this is why Jesus is so important.  He makes it so death doesn’t have to be something to fear.  I would definitely talk about how Jesus loves us and that he is in heaven preparing a place for us so that we can go and be with him.  And talk about how we will see each other again there.  (with very young children - now is not the time to talk about those who won’t make it to heaven).

 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God. Believe in me also.  There are many rooms in my Father’s house. If this were not true, would I have told you that I am going there? Would I have told you that I would prepare a place for you there?  If I go and do that, I will come back. And I will take you to be with me. Then you will also be where I am.   (John 14:1-3)

BEFORE YOU JUMP IN…

I would read the attached development guide to gain perspective on how to talk to your child at the appropriate age level.

Then I would read these two great articles from Focus on the Family.

https://www.focusonthefamily.ca/content/when-a-loved-one-dies-understanding-grief-in-children

https://www.focusonthefamily.ca/content/helping-children-grieve-for-a-loved-one