My grandmother passed away recently. She was in her 90s so she lived a good long life. She was my last surviving grandparent so that was quite sad.
We attended a wake service for her. It was not a Christian service. After the service, I wanted to view her body. Princess wanted to come with me. I was a little hesitant at first but I carried her over and told her, “Look it’s mommy’s grandma.” She took a quick look then buried her head in my shoulder. I didn’t really know what to say to her so I said, “Mommy’s grandma went to heaven to be with God.” Although my grandmother was not a Christian, I did not know what to say to my 2 1/2, nearly 3 year old daughter. I knew that I shouldn’t say that “Grandma is sleeping” because I didn’t want her to be scared of sleeping or falling asleep. Let’s face it, I never really thought about what I would say to my young children when they encountered a death in the family.
I guess that was a taste of what future uncomfortable, tough conversations will be like. I’m still thinking about what to say about death. What is appropriate for such young children?