How I explained death to my 5 year old.

It's been a sad time this past week or so. Out of respect for my husband and his family I'm not going into any great detail other than telling you that someone has sadly passed away. Very unexpectedly at that.

Carson, being the sweetest most compassionate little boy for his years, begun to ask what medicine would make daddy's uncle better. I had to explain that there was no medicine to help someone's sleeping brain. When it's tired, it's tired. Just like it's hard for him to wake up on a school day - no matter how much I shout to get up, it takes him ages to to do so and even then it makes him grumpy.
Explanation so far, so good...

He wondered why doctors weren't helping him and asked how many had tried. Naturally, I explained there were hundreds of doctors who have tried but the only thing helping right now was a machine so he could breathe without pain for his family to be able to visit him, maybe reading him a story while he sleeps or kiss him on the head goodnight. Like I do when Carson sleeps at night, afterall if it hurt him to breathe at night, how would I be able to kiss him on the head with out really upsetting him
He totally understood this and even rolled his eyes at himself for not figuring this out himself *bless, like he should know*

I asked Carson to recall a dream he remembers he had and if it felt real. Typically he reeled off an overly dramatic nightmare which made him cry a while back.
I panicked at first, how can I turn this into a positive?
A-haa! Well, it woke him up didn't it? So if daddy's uncle is having an amazing dream while his brain is sleeping, he doesn't want to wake up from it. In the dream I think he's with his mum and remembering all his happy memories, some people say its like that in heaven - being surrounded by happy memories and loved ones. So, perhaps he wants to stay in that dream - he hasn't seen his mum for ages so they've a lot to catch up on.

Carson then got wide eyed and exclaimed that "the door to heaven is the graveyard by Asda" so to see his mum properly he should go that way through to door. So I explained that if he didn't need to be attached to any machines in the hospital then he could do just that.

The little love then said, off his own back, that we shouldn't cry then, we should be happy that he can see his mum and live in his dream.

So there you have it. Death to a 5 year old is living the dream. Such an innocently idyllic notion. The way it should be.


  1. I am so sorry to hear about your family's loss. You explained death to your son perfectly.. my grandma is ill at the and I am worried about how I will have to tell my kids when the time comes

  2. How sweet. I love the way you explained death to your son. They are so loving at that age, before peer-group pressure alters them.

  3. So sorry for your family's loss Jo. What an exceptional little boy you have there xxx

  4. I love carson he is just so mature and brilliant and you couldn't of explained it any better lots of love from me and liv xx

  5. Really sorry to hear about your loss. I love the way you explained death to Carson, it brought a tear to my eye.

    Thank you for linking up to the #WeekendBlogHop

    Laura x x x

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. I am terrified of the day I have to try and explain this to my daughter. Sounds like you did it really well, and he sounds like a lovely little boy xx #brillblogposts

  7. Sorry to hear about your loss, but how beautifully you explained this. We haven't had any people die in our family since our son has been around, but our last cat did when he was the same as age as Carson, so I hope this helped prepare him for the day when a human goes the same way.

  8. I am so sorry for your loss.

  9. Beautifully handled, so sorry for your loss x

  10. Sorry for your loss. What you did is so important. Children understand death in their own way.


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