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Do's & Don'ts of Explaining Death to a Child November 16, 2018

West Haven, New Haven County
Do's & Don'ts of Explaining Death to a Child, West Haven, Connecticut

The sudden passing of a loved one and the ensuing funeral are tough on adults. But what about the children who are left behind? How can you best explain what happened to them? Below are a few simple do’s and don’ts as you prepare yourself to have this tough conversation with your little one.


Go slowly.

Don’t feel compelled to explain every detail and cover every topic surrounding death with your child. It’s fine to offer them a simple explanation that includes words like “died” and “funeral” and then move forward based on the questions they ask. Give short answers and let them process the information on their own.

Be honest.

Although you might be tempted to hide the truth from your little one to protect them, kids are remarkably perceptive and can tell when something is wrong. So, tell the truth. Otherwise, they might be confused by your sad emotions and the grief they experience from other adults at the funeral.


Deviate from your normal routine.

funeralEspecially if the individual was someone your child was close to, they might be confused by their absence and repeatedly ask when the person is coming back. To avoid upsetting them further and help them feel calmer, stick to their normal routine as best you can. 

Feel pressured to have all the answers.

Death is a topic adults have difficulty addressing with each other, and many people have different beliefs at certain points. No one has all the answers, so don’t feel pressure to provide the perfect response to your child’s queries. If they ask a question and you don’t know, just tell them. Perhaps it will open up another honest conversation.


If you live in New Haven County, CT, turn to Porto Funeral Homes. In business for over 75 years, their compassionate professionals will guide you through the process from start to finish, from filing permits to purchasing a casket or urn. To learn more about their services, call (203) 467-3000 for their East Haven location or (203) 934-5000 for West Haven. You can also visit them online today.

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