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Grieving son, talking about death

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 



I really hope I can get some help here as I am concerned about my son.

I have mentioned in other posts about him experiencing a lot of losses in a relatively short space of time.

His baby sister died two years ago, and now in the past few months he has lost three of his beloved pets.


I have always said to him that his sister is in heaven, and when his pets died I told him thats where they are too.


However, I'm now beginning to worry that I shouldn't have said it as he has started saying that he wants to go to heaven too.

I usually respond by saying that he will go to heaven one day, but not for a long time.

He says really matter of factly that he is 'going to die' so he can be in heaven with his loved ones.


However, he then says he'll 'come back later'.

He obviously doesn't understand the permanency of death, or that he can't 'come and go' from heaven so to speak.


It makes me panic when he starts talking like this, as I don't know the best way to respond, I'm worried I'll say the wrong thing and make the situation worst. Maybe I've made heaven sound 'too nice' if that makes sense, by saying that his loved ones are happy and have no pain etc. But I don't want to upset him or make him worry that his loved ones are not happy. Its such a difficult situation to be in, and I really don't know the best way to deal with it.


Your suggestions and advice will be really appreciated.

Thank you


post #2 of 7

Have you thought of taking him to see a therapist? We just did this with our four year old following an accident where he was ran over. I had the same concerns "What do I say" type things. The therapist helped us SO much. He gave us ideas and tools. I highly recommend it. I'm sorry I don't have any advice aside from that but I am sorry your son is going through this. 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 


Thanks for the reply, we have a bereavement centre for children locally, so I'll give them a ring on Monday and see if they can help at all. If anyone has been through similar, or anyone has any advice I  would really appreciate it.

post #4 of 7

I'm sorry to hear about all your losses.

We've experienced many deaths around here recently too, including DD's close friend.


I recommend this book (it is also the book that DD's friend's Mommy and Daddy used to talk about her impending death with her--the child knew she was dying and brought the subject up-she was 4) http://www.amazon.com/Lifetimes-Bryan-Mellonie/dp/0553344021/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1290270987&sr=8-1


DD has special objects that belonged to her friend and also to my Grandmother (DD was part of her dying process as well) that she calls her "remembery things" she uses them as comfort objects and lovies to connect with our loved ones who are no longer with us. We share memories of the people we miss, we talk about them. We are very close to the family who lost their daughter DD loves spending time with them (they love it too) and with her friend's baby brother.


It's hard watching our children experience grief and loss. One of the best things we can do is just share in the process with them, share our own feelings (in a non scary way) etc.


Hugs to your DS.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 


I'm so sorry for yours and your DD's loss, and of course my heart goes out to her family and loved ones.

Thank you so much for the book recommendation, I'll definitely be ordering a copy.

Gosh its so painful seeing him hurting and in pain emotionally, I cried last night for hours, not only for my own loss, but it because seeing him hurting is so heartbreaking.


We have photos up of his sister, and he carries her blanket around with him everywhere, and sleeps with the blanket in his bed.

We have a photo of his dog next to the bed, which he says goodnight to every night.


Its so hard seeing him sad, he's such a loving, kind little boy, I am very proud of him and just want to help him in any way I can.


We do read a lot, so the book is a definite next step for us.


Thank you x

post #6 of 7

I wonder if he wants to see the people/pets who have died, and going to heave is the only way he can think of to do that. What would happen if you said "It would be nice to go to heave and see them, wouldn't it? I miss them too."

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 


I guess I just panic when he says things like that, almost as if when he's older he'll think its not worth living, and he'd rather 'go to heaven.'

He does know that his sister died, the counsellor I was seeing at the time told me to tell him that she died, which meant her body stopped working, she actually advised me NOT to say anything about heaven, but I did because I am spiritual myself, and I thought it was a bit too much of a 'clinical' way to explain death to young children without also talking about the spiritual aspect.


My son is happy most of the time, and he'll actually say these things very matter of factly whilst doing something else especially whilst playing.

I am wondering now whether he is actually using his imagination to 'make believe' that he is going to heaven, and working through his grief through play? Perhaps I have taken what he said too literally, and he's actually just working through his emotions in the way that comes naturally to him, through play? Perhaps he's imagining he's in heaven, seeing his sister and pets again?



I will still get the book though and ring the centre for advice also.

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