The thought of explaining our mortality to a child can be both heartbreaking and scary.
Their innocence is admirable and their naivety is beautiful and no parent ever wants to be the one to burst their bubble.
But as we all know, death is promised to us and the sooner a child is aware of this, the sooner they can begin to understand and accept that dying is a part of life.
The fact that more children are now attending funerals is a refreshing indication that parents and families are basing more importance on the need for the younger people in our lives to mourn in a healthy way, farewell the people they love and accept that this is a natural part of living.
It’s especially important not to hide the truth from children because they are far more intuitive than we know and someone’s death should never become a secret affair.
This poses the risk that they may feel their grief at losing someone is something they need to hide.
Although a child’s life is forever changed when they can begin to grasp the concept of death, knowing that they are supported, treated the same as everyone else and given the right to grieve how they wish, can make all the difference.