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How to Explain Death to Kids

Sunday, 6 June, 2021 - 9:36 pm

 

Question of the Week

My seven year old is asking a lot of questions ever since her grandfather died. What happens when you die? Where do you go? Is it scary? Can you explain death to a seven year old?

Answer

Remember when your little brother was born? After being in your mother's tummy for such a long time, he finally came out to be with you and the family. How exciting. You'd been waiting for so long to meet him and play with him, and then he finally arrived.

Your baby brother was very comfortable inside mummy's tummy, where it's warm and he had everything he needed. But he couldn't stay there forever.  When it was time, he came out to be with you.

In a strange way, death is similar to birth. We leave the world we know and enter the great unknown world outside.  All the people who have passed away are in that peaceful and happy place. Just as you were waiting for your brother to come and be with you, the souls of past generations were waiting for your grandfather to join them. Now they are all together. We miss them. But there's nothing to be scared of.

Remember you used to talk to your baby brother, even before he was born? He heard you, though he couldn't answer and you couldn't see him. You can talk to your grandfather too. And you can send him a present. Every time you do something good, listen to your parents, do a mitzvah, give charity, learn Torah, think how proud your grandfather would be. At that moment, his soul in heaven gets a good feeling, a gift from you.

Just like he smiled every time you visited him, his soul smiles every time you think: "Grandpa would love seeing me do this."  So keep on making him proud. 

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Moss

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