Confident Conversations: Talking to Kids about Life & Death

Are you struggling to navigate tough conversations with your kids? Our recent book Chloe & the Butterflies is a gentle way to introduce the topic of loss to your child and invites you to explore your views about life transition and death. 

Feeling invincible is a trait of youth, and as we age, we are regularly reminded that we are not. 

The realization of this delicate balance between life and death and illness and health can create a sense of urgency to brace for the worst, protect at all costs or worry and live restricted, tight—all extremely normal ways of reacting to the reality of loss, of death. 

We hear slogans to help guide us, like, “This too shall pass,” “Live life to the fullest,” and “Live today as though it is your last.” Sometimes, these are inspiring! Sometimes, they are unrealistic and even create a sense of urgency, or we are living wrong or grieving wrong. 

So, as adults, we struggle to figure out how to live well. We explore religion, philosophy, and natural science to find meaning to inform our behaviour. Sometimes, we feel empowered in our lives, and sometimes, we struggle existentially. 

And then we become parents.

And these beautiful, perfectly created children look to us for protection, direction, security, love, hope and faith!

Parenting begs us to be better, do better – and grow into a better version of ourselves. 

How can we guide our children when we struggle to reconcile ourselves, all the mysteries of life and death, illness, and all the changes in between?

What I have learned in my last 15 years of being a parent and as a student of Grief & Bereavement is: 

  • We do our best to stay open and curious.
  • We embrace the unknown and share our vulnerability by being present with our discomfort.
  • And we explore spirituality – together as a family. Developing a personal and family devotion to nurturing these qualities, as these are scientifically proven, even more than social connections, to improve resilience when navigating grief. 

Death education is one of the last taboo topics to talk openly about in our society. And, it has the potential to be the most empowering, transformational, and freeing topic to discuss in your family. Children want to know specifics – read more here about tips to talk with your kids about grief. 

I invite you to order a signed copy of Chloe & the Butterflies and open the conversation in your home. 

As always, please reach out, I would love to hear about what you are facing in your life and explore how I can help.