How Do You Explain Death To Children?
This has been a really life changing year or so for our family. We experienced unexpected death which always throws you for a whirl.My heart really breaks for my niece Joie and her family. She lost her Mother(my sister) on June 2nd of 2017 which was devastating for all of us. Her children were really effected since my sister was the main babysitter for their little ones. As if that wasn't enough,4 months later her Mother In Law was diagnosed with a very rare type of cancer. It involved her thyroid although it was not the normal type for that area of the body. When the diagnosis was made it was said that either she would kind of control it and live on or it would kill her within a year.
This poor woman was never sick a day of her life so you can just imagine how terrifying the news was. Unfortunately today was the day of her funeral.
My niece has 2 boys.One is 5 years old and the other one is 2.As I mentioned my sister was the main babysitter so since she's passed I have tried to help out with the kids etc, as much as I can.When their Mema passed (my sister) the older boy A.J. understood he would no longer see her. It broke my nieces heart. The baby was still to young to really understand.
Today I babysat for the boys while their nana was laid to rest. The older boy was at his friends house when I got the text stating the procession was passing the house. I took Joey(the younger son) outside to see the cars.It was police escorted since nanas husband who had passed many years ago was a police officer.The funeral director stopped the car in front of the house walked up and handed the baby a rose from nanas funeral.I thanked him and he walked back to his car and started to pull away.
Joey and I sat there and waved to all the people who passed by. Mommy and Daddy,cousin Cari,Eden and many more. We have a tendency to underestimate kids and their observations. At the end of the procession of cars Joey looked at me and said,"Aunt Jan Jan....Where's Nana?" This little 2 year old boy associated his nana always being with the rest of the family and now she was nowhere to be found. All I could think to respond was ," Nana is in Heaven with Mema honey."
Does he really understand? Probably not but what he does understand is nana's missing.Sooner or later I'm sure he will process it. What I am sure of is this little boy now has 2 guardian angels protecting him and his brother. Namaste