I know how to talk to my kids about death – but how do we talk about dying?

To love a person is to one day know grief; I know this to be true.

People age, illness strikes and tragedy can happen without warning. A life can slow down and fade out before our eyes or be taken quickly, impervious to the wake left behind. It’s hard – often devastating – but it can’t be avoided any more than the end of a day.

By adulthood, most of us have experienced the loss of a loved one – sometimes, more than our fair share – and as parents, we must navigate the difficult path of explaining death to our children. It’s not something we look forward to, but it’s part of life and not unexpected. People live and one day, they die. This reality demands an explanation.

Of course, discussions of death are further complicated by the fact that different families believe different things; some talk of heaven or a person’s spirit while others take a more scientific approach. I’m the latter, but I don’t fault anyone who takes comfort from religion or other personal beliefs. Grief is personal and cannot be judged.

So we talk about death because it happens. We tell our children what we believe, answer questions and comfort them as best we can.

But what do we tell them about dying?

(Read the rest here, on SavvyMom.ca)

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