How do you talk to a toddler about such a thing? Something that is so real but something we want to shield them from? It's a subject that has started to come up more and more as Finley gets older and questions are getting asked when we visit my Gramps grave. And that is death.
I don't want to scare him or make him think about it too much as he is only 4 but it's something he's getting more curious about.
The other day as we drove past a grave yard Finley said to me 'that's Grampy's gravy yard.' It wasn't the same one, so I told him that it was one very similar and Grampy's grave was in the village my Nan lives in. I could see in the mirror him thinking then Noah popped up saying 'Grampy's house.' Finley instantly told him 'no as Grampy died. He was old so he died.' This gave me a lump in my throat because he understood why my Gramp was no longer here. But it got me thinking because I don't want him to think that everyone who is old will die because we all say it don't we, 'oh I'm getting old' and I worry that it will start to play on his mind and that he will start to worry.
I talk about my Gramp often to my mum & nan and also in everyday conversation because he was a huge part of my life. And I've explained to Finley why he is no longer here, just with the brief 'because he was poorly' but I'm not sure where he got the old bit from.
It's such a tough subject that we need to talk about with our children but a subject that I wonder if I need to be totally honest. Do I sugar coat it so that in later life they are shocked or do I tell my innocent 4 year old the truth?
How do we education such little minds about death because it's a big part of our lives as they will lose family and they will have friends who lose family and they will have so many questions.
Be direct or wrap them in cotton wool? I honestly don't know.