? asked in Pregnancy & ParentingGrade-Schooler · 9 years ago

How is the "right way" to tell my son that his stepmother passed away?

Last night, I had to do one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I had to tell my son (who's turning 6 in 2 weeks) that his stepmom is gone. She had a three year battle with stage 4 cervical cancer, which spread throughout most of her body. She was a HUGE part of his life and her & I had a rare but true friendship. A few days before she died, my son & I went to see her for the last time to tell her we love her. His father & I tried preparing him by saying "Lisa will be in heaven soon," and our son was saying he didn't want her to go. Last night I had to sit him down and explain to him that she did go to heaven but she is now his guardian angel. I could feel his heartache in his voice when he said "I will miss her," but he didn't cry and I'm just not sure if he completely understands.

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  • Jackie
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    The best thing you can do is be there for him as he goes through the grieving process. People go through the process differently. He may become disconnected, he may lash out in anger, he may seem fine for a long time before it really hits him. Let his teachers and principal know so they can help him in school and watch for any warning signs if his behavior changes. He may feel more comfortable talking with a counselor about this so he doesn't burden the family. Don't be upset with that just get him the help he needs.

    I'm sorry for your loss and I hope you all find the peace and closure you need.

  • 9 years ago

    First off, I am sorry for your loss. It's always great when all factors; moms, dad, stepparents, can learn to get along and co-parent to the child. So kudos to you. About the question, I wouldn't press the issue. If he has sort of accepted it by acknowledging and answering your explanation I would just leave it. Everyone deals with death differently, plus he is so young you don't want to scare him. If he ever asks just reassure him that she is in a better place now, she still loves you very much and I know that you miss her but she is always with you..that sort of thing. Hope this helps...

  • 9 years ago

    Go to your nearest library or to the school/nursery your son attends and ask them if they have any good books on death and grieving. Kids understand better when its explained to them in a way they can relate - and the pictures help them focus on something other then the words they're being told.

    There are many brilliant books available, and both school and library will be able to point you in the right direction for books that fit the circumstances.

  • 9 years ago

    I know this is such a difficult time for your whole family, and I suggest that you encourage and help your son to find pictures of his step-mother, and make a "Memory Box" or Scrapbook with things in it to remind him of her.

    This will likely make him cry, but that is good - tears are our heart's way of healing itself.

    If you can, get him into some kind of Art Therapy or Counselling - he does need to be encouraged to let his feelings out and drawing or painting is a great way for children to express their feelings - feelings that they sometimes can't get into words.

    Art is good because - for example - today he might draw a picture of his step-mother in her hospital bed, with him beside her, but as time passes he will change the way he see's his relationship with her and may draw her father away in the background of the picture. Eventually, his pictures may show his family and his step-mother's face in the sun or the clouds.

    The above is just an example of how you can see that the child is progressing through is grief.

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  • 9 years ago

    I'm sorry for your loss & that your son has to learn this so early in life. He might not fully understand right now, expect questions later like "when will she come back from heaven" or "can we go to heaven & visit her". There's no right way to handle this just b there for your son when he needs u & everything will b fine

    Source(s): Mother of 2
  • hennis
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

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  • 9 years ago

    Its hard to say what he is feeling since at 6 we rarely experience death much.So maybe he really doesn't understand the loss of losing someone.

    You might want to contact his doctor and see if he has any feedback for you.

    Your son will open up when he is ready.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    When I was his age and someone mentioned death, I would laugh. Not because I was morbid, but because my nerves would get to me. Most six year olds don't really have a concept of death and he probably won't actually realize she's gone until he wants to do something with her or something triggers her memory. I'm sorry for your loss, good luck with your son.

  • skruff
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    The saddest day of my youth was when my Grandmother died when I was six. My parents told me and I understood but I didn't cry about it until I was 12.

    Children process in their own way in their own time. You did a good job, now it's his turn.

  • 9 years ago

    It sounds like you said the right things.

    Sorry for your loss.

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