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<p>We're going through this right now.  My beloved grandmother (whom my dd is named after) is dying of Alzheimer's.  It will be soon, she has been put in hospice care and is declining rapidly. </p>
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<p>My DD knows who Grandma Evelyn is.  She is also a very sensitive child and is starting to understand the world.  She could tell I was upset yesterday as we were looking at pictures of grandma and I tried explaining why to her. </p>
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<p>We are Christians as is grandma, so that obviously plays into my response to DD and we talk about grandma getting to go be with Jesus.  She seems to like this idea as she is currently obsessed with all things baby Jesus thanks to Christmas and her little toy nativity set. </p>
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<p>But how else do I explain to her that we won't be able to go visit grandma anymore?  She seems bothered by me being sad and tells me not to be sad, how do I help her understand that sadness over losing someone is ok?  Are there any good books out there that we could read with her that would help her understand?  She loves to read and picks things up from books quickly.</p>
 

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<p>First I want to say how sorry I am that your family is dealing with this. My Grandmother passed away many years ago due to Alzheimer's and it was a very difficult experience for everyone :(</p>
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<p>I'm interested in responses too as we are in a similar place. My 2.5 yr has a definite relationship with his Great-Nana - my last grandparent.</p>
<p>She had a stroke and is now wheelchair bound in a nursing home instead of living in the house she always did. He is happy to visit her, but often comments that she is "sick" b/c she sleeps a lot. Or he comments that she can't walk anymore and asks if she is happy. Although she still knows who we are her personality has definitely changed.</p>
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<p>I was crying while going through some of her belongings to pack at her house and I told him I was sad but didn't know the right details to share without scaring him (e.g sad b/c she doesn't live here anymore could make him worry that she is not in a new happy place) He did hug me and said "feel better" and I realized I have no idea what to say when the time comes.</p>
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<p>Although we are not very religious, my Nana was and so I will be thinking ahead how to address that.</p>
<p>I would also love book recommendations as DS gets a lot out of books too.</p>
<p>It breaks my heart to have to tell him, since he has such a loving relationship & memory of her right now. </p>
<p>I also want him to understand that sadness is okay and how to express it.</p>
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<p>So sorry for both of you....</p>
<p>My grandfather passed away last summer, when DS was 2.5. I had no idea what to tell him and our pediatrician said, "Tell him the truth, and keep it simple. Just tell him great-grandpa died." She said most kids will not quite get what that means, but accept it as the answer and figure out that it means we won't see the person anymore after awhile.</p>
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<p>This did not happen with my son, but maybe b/c I told him other things first (only asked the doctor after he kept asking "WHY?" when I told him Great-Grandpa didn't live at the hospital anymore and we couldn't visit him). I tried my best to explain that his body was old and broke, and couldn't be fixed, so he decided he didn't need his body anymore and now he doesn't have one. (We are not religious, so going to live with Jesus wouldn't have helped him understand, but I think that's a great explanation, and also a reason to be happy for the person in addition to being sad for yourselves...) After a few weeks, he stopped asking.</p>
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<p>Last week, he saw someone in a wheelchair and asked what Great-Grandpa is doing. Then he asked if we could go visit him in the hospital, and I reminded him that he's not there anymore, and that's why we haven't seen him in a long time. He asked why, and I said, "He died, remember?" He said yes. We talked a little bit about being sad that we can't see him anymore, but glad that he's not in any more pain, and by the time that little bit was said, DS was distracted by something else and let it go.</p>
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<p>Sorry for the long post, I hope it helps. I think the key is to be very open, and share both your sadness and your happy memories. It might confuse the little ones that you're sad and happy at the same time (or at least talking about sad and happy things together) but I think it's a relief for them to know you're not just going to be sad all the time from now on.</p>
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<p>ETA: Springmum, does your local library have a children's librarian? Ours was able to recommend a book (can't remember the name of it, sorry!) for DS. It was about a boy who loved his dog, and the dog got old and started to slow down, and then passed away. Very short, glosses over a lot, and really wasn't helpful to my son, but might help a child who is a bit older. I wish I had borrowed the book when my grandfather went into the nursing home, so that DS would have been able to draw some parallel to the changes rather than relying on hindsight and the memory/comprehension of a 2-year-old...</p>
 

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<p>I came across this decent article about talking to toddlers about death.</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-talk-to-your-2-year-old-about-death_64608.bc" target="_blank">http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-talk-to-your-2-year-old-about-death_64608.bc</a></p>
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<p>It has some good "to dos" and also some good "don'ts" </p>
 
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