How do you explain death to a young child?
How do you explain to your young child that mommy lost the baby she was carrying in her tummy? Or tell them that a family friend lost his battle with AIDS? Or answer "Why did puppy have to die?" In an eighteen month period, I was faced with explaining all of these things to my four year old son (and his barely two year old little brother). I couldn't find any books that were specific enough, or age appropriate to give them the answers I wanted them to have. I finally found an illustrated book called "Mommy, What is Dead?" (at a website called mommywhatis.com), and it clearly explained the difference between body and soul, and the various ways people and animals die. The book offers the two most common beliefs as to what happens to the soul after death (“heaven” and reincarnation). "Mommy, What is Dead?" tells children that our memories are the way love continues on, and my kids found real comfort in that. It has gentle text, and simple pictures, and my young children easily understood its message. If you or anyone you know has a young child going through the loss of a loved one, I highly recommend this book!