• AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Let's Reflect


    Recently my beautiful, vibrant loving mother passed away. This was very sudden and very unexpected. The grief I feel is, at times overwhelming and each day I hold the memory of my mother so very close. I raced home to be with family, esp. my four year old niece Ella.

    My mother left this earth a wife, a mum and one role she cherished a grandmother. She was not Nan, Nana or Grandma she was lovingly called Mimi.

    You could see Mimi took on the role of grandparent very seriously. She adored her grandchildren and spent as much time with them as possible. She loved teaching Ella about the beauty of nature, the importance to care for our earth and to always, always stop to smell the roses.

    My heart broke every time I thought about Ella not having her Mimi anymore. I worried about how Ella would take the news and if she would understand what happened. I started drawing on previous experience and researching into how to support children when they have lost a family member.

    But I didn’t need to worry. Ella’s mum and dad (my brother) spoke to Ella in such a gentle loving way ……

    They told Ella that Mimi was very sick, so sick she had to go to the hospital in an ambulance. They explained to Ella that the doctors worked very hard trying to make Mimi better but sadly Mimi’s heart stopped working and she died. With tears in their eyes they explained to Ella that Mimi is now in spirit and is not here anymore. They explained that its ok to be sad, that everyone that loved Mimi is feeling very sad. My family explained to Ella if she is missing Mimi that there is a way to see her again. My brother told Ella that when she goes to sleep at night ask Mimi to be in your dreams and together you can go on a journey together, just Ella and Mimi.

    I thought how they explained death to Ella was so beautiful. Ella often talks to me how she misses Mimi, but then she looks up at me and with a big smile says “You know Aunty Catherine I see Mimi in my dreams”

    Rest in Peace Mimi

    Mrs B


10 Responses to How do you talk to a child about death?

  • Tracey Moore wrote on October 8, 2012 at 8:39 // Reply

    what a beautiful way to explain death to a child ,i am in tears right now xxxx

  • Tracy wrote on October 8, 2012 at 9:11 // Reply

    Beautiful!! RIP Mimi xx

  • Dion wrote on October 9, 2012 at 11:18 // Reply

    Thanks Catherine it’s always good to get feedback. I think with Ella being the young age she is it was easier for her. If she had of been older I think she would of developed a stronger attachment with mum and it would of been harder for her and the people around her. I think the younger a child is, the more accepting and open they are. The beauty for being a child.

  • Dion wrote on October 9, 2012 at 11:22 // Reply

    Thank you mum for the beautiful soul that you are
    R.I.P Love Dion

  • Ms S..... wrote on October 9, 2012 at 7:30 // Reply

    Ella also knows that when you are ‘spirit’ you are everywhere in the trees, in the wind, in the season and therefore spirit is with you always!!! x

  • Lesley wrote on October 10, 2012 at 9:33 // Reply

    What a beautiful story. Mimi must be truly missed by everyone but to see how how her passing away was so delicately and positively dealt with, with Ella gives such hope and promise

  • Jane Kennedy wrote on October 12, 2012 at 8:05 // Reply

    Thankyou Catherine for sharing this story with us. It is very easy to want to run as fast as you can from the grief and pain of loss, but death is so much a part of life, it is very wise to give young children strategies which transform their experience of grieving & loss into a form of acceptance and understanding. Thankyou:)

  • Poh Lin Larner wrote on October 13, 2012 at 9:57 // Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing. Truly appreciate it.

  • fee wrote on January 25, 2013 at 5:57 // Reply

    I read your story I have tears in my eys. My father in law recently passed away very suddenly and my 10 year old was so upset and knowing she loves writing poety I asked her to write a poem and this what she wrote touched my heart.

    My Grandad
    If you asked my Grandad to cheer you up,
    He would think up a joke to make you laugh,
    He would give you a smile that you’d never forget,
    And although his teeth were false,
    His smile was not
    He brightened up my life,
    And is now resting peacefully with Jesus Christ

    • Mrs B wrote on January 25, 2013 at 6:04 // Reply

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your daughters poem is absolutely beautiful. Grandparents are so very important in a child’s life and I am so glad that your daughter could know the love of a grandad. I miss my mum terribly, to cope I honour her everyday by being thankful of what I have and always finding those moments to laugh. I think its beautiful your daughter will remember her grandad by his smile. All the very best Xx Mrs B


FILL THE FIELDS TO LEAVE A REPLY. Your email address will not be published.