This morning I found a baby bird lying in our driveway. It must have fallen/been pushed out the nest last night. It was dead and the ants had found it.
I told Aaron to be careful and to walk around it and he refused to move (I think he has my ‘ick’ gene). I called Paul to come and remove the baby.
This all led to a discussion with Aaron about the fact that the baby bird was dead and that we would have to bury it. He had lots of questions.
He wanted to know what happened to the bird. He wanted to know what would happen to it after it was buried. He wanted to know why it died and where its mommy and daddy were.
In Aarons short life two of his great grandparents have passed away. We explained to him that they were in heaven with Gd and left it at that. He was fine with that.
The difference here is that he actually saw the dead bird. He wanted to know what we were going to do with it (bury it).
How do you explain to a 4 year old about death?
6 Replies to “How do you explain?”
When we had to have our Labby put down earlier this year we had to explain heaven and all that to Daniel, the girls were too small to care. They don’t understand death per se, but the explanation that whatever is dead is not coming back.
But it’s still hard.
@Tania – It is hard. the hardest part is that he keeps asking and im trying to figure out what part of our explanation isnt gelling for him. obviously some part of it is bothering him or doesnt make sense…
When Kiera died my baby brother was 4 years old. He was constantly asking where she was and my parents danced around the truth for so long that eventually I said frankly “Kiera’s gone to live in Heaven with Gd now, he missed her” and he seemed satisfied with that answer.
Perhaps use nature’s laws? The ants need food so Gd provided it…?
@Shebee – He is pretty much satisfied with that answer with my grandmothers, he hardly ever asks about them and if he does he always tells me they are in heaven. The bird was different because he saw it and we had to remove it. He keeps asking where it is, he knows the physical bird has been buried (we actually threw it in the bin) so telling him its gone to heaven is confusing him. He is way too literal minded 🙂
@Angel – I think I may try that if he asks about it tomorrow.
Ai, this is a difficult one but I do think you dealt in exactly the right way. Maybe he just need to hear it a couple of times to work through it in his head.