Explaining loss to a Kindergartner 

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One of the most heartbreaking experiences of losing my son has been telling my daughter about his death. For 5.5 months, she asked so many questions about him and would always talk to my belly. 

“It’s a boy, mommy! Now I don’t have to share my toys!” 

“Good morning, baby brother!” 

On our morning commute to school and work, we would pray while walking together for God’s protection and safety over all of our family and friends and especially for baby and I. 

When I came home from the hospital, I was empty. I listened to my husband call various funeral homes and cremation locations in NYC and felt myself growing more and more hollow. Cancelling our joint birthday celebration for our daughter / babymoon vacation to Disneyworld was absolutely devastating. Unending tears streamed down my face. Yet it was my daughter who would end up consoling me by running up to me and hugging me so tightly.

During dinner time, I would often be asked questions from her. 

Daughter: In atrium, I asked God to help me to be a big sister. When baby brother was in your tummy. I prayed for healthy baby. 
Me: And he was healthy, my baby. 

D: Why did he come out too early? 

Me: God wanted him in Heaven. Hopefully one day you will have a sister or brother or both here on earth so you be a big sister again.  

D: But not to replace baby brother? 

Me: Correct. Not to replace baby brother. We will always honor and remember baby brother. 
From conversations like this, to her saying that baby brother was at school with her playing with her and her friends, my heart breaks into tiny pieces. It’s as if she understands but since she’s only 6, I don’t know if she can? Her maturity in handling everything and her inquisitive questions lead me to believe that she does understand. She has asked about his urn and if he was that tiny. We stare at his pictures together. Every day, she lights the electric candle that we have placed by his ultrasound photo. 

The loss books advise on breaking down the loss as gently as possible to children her age. As a mother, I want nothing more to protect my children and in situations like this, I’ve felt absolutely powerless. I couldn’t save Zeke. I can’t protect my daughter from death and the darkness in this world. Hearing my daughter worry about death and if our dog will pass away, I worry that I don’t have any guarantees to provide to her. I can’t shield her from the pain of loss and the sorrow we feel as a family while we mourn her brother. But all I can do is encourage her to talk about her feelings and to teach her to pray out loud with us. Together, we will continue to pray to our Lord for his guidance and protection, that Baby Zeke will watch over us as our angel and advocate in Heaven, and that the Lord will bless us with joy and many more happy, healthy children. 

Dear God,

Thank you for blessing my husband and I with such a loving and caring daughter. Please watch over her and protect her. Draw close to her in this time of sorrow. Help her to feel your presence and guide her in all aspects of life. I pray that her faith will continue to grow as she gets to know you more. Guide my husband and I to be the best parents for her and that we continue to encourage her to grow in life and in her faith. If if is in your will, we pray that you will bless her with the opportunity to be an older sister.

Amen  


We love you, Zeke. 

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