Your Grieving Child: Answers to Questions on Death and Dying

Your Grieving Child: Answers to Questions on Death and Dying

by Bill Dodds




One of the most difficult, yet necessary, topics to discuss with children, is death and dying. For parents, trying to form cohesive thoughts may be a challenge. In a simple question-and-answer format, Bill Dodds provides parents with answers to over one hundred questions that children ages 3-8 may ask about this emotional topic. He gives parents advice on adapting their answers to best meet the needs of their child as well as provide a list of additional resources that parents may find useful. Chapter titles include: The Big Questions; What Comes Next; A Child’s Own Reaction; and funerals and cemeteries.

Author Biography: Author Bill Dodds is a regular columnist for Columbia magazine. His articles have appeared in Catholic Parent® and New Covenant magazines. He is the author of The Joy of Marriage as well as Our Sunday Visitor’s Caring for Your Aging Parent.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780879733988
Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor, Publishing Division
Publication date: 03/28/2001
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.44(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Finding the Words13
I.Grief: The Basics15
II.The Big Questions21
1.Why did she have to die?22
2.Why does God allow suffering and death?23
3.Why didn't I get a chance to say good-bye?25
4.Why didn't prayers make him all better?26
5.Is she really never coming back?27
6.Someone said, "She just went to sleep." Why doesn't she wake up?28
7.Someone said, "God took her." Why would God be so mean?29
8.Someone said, "God wanted her." Doesn't he know I want her, too?30
9.If I'm really good, will God bring her back?31
10.Why do some babies die?32
11.Why did he kill himself?33
12.Why was she killed?34
13.Why would someone want to kill him?35
III.What Comes Next37
14.Where is she now? What comes after death?38
15.What's a soul?39
16.Is he an angel now?40
17.Is she a ghost now?41
18.Is she a saint now?42
19.What is heaven like?43
20.Do pets go to heaven?44
21.Who goes to hell? What is it like?45
22.What is purgatory?46
23.What is limbo?47
24.Why do we pray for her?48
25.Why do we pray to her?49
26.Did our love die, too?50
27.Can he see me?51
28.Is God mad at her because she didn't go to church?52
IV.A Child's Own Reactions53
29.Is this my fault?54
30.Did he die because I was bad?55
31.Did he die because he was bad?56
32.Will I always feel this awful?57
33.What is grief?58
34.Will I ever be happy again?59
35.Why can't I stop thinking about her?60
36.What if I forget him?61
37.Am I bad because I'm kind of mad at her for leaving? Are you mad at her, too?62
38.Am I bad because I kind of feel glad he's dead?63
39.Why am I afraid to be alone or go to sleep?64
40.Why can't I stop crying?65
41.Why can't I sleep?66
42.Why am I so tired?67
43.Why does my stomach hurt?68
44.Am I bad because for a little while I forgot she was dead?69
45.I thought I saw her today. Did I?70
46.Will I ever see him again?71
47.Are you going to die?72
48.Am I going to die?73
49.Why am I dying?74
50.Why are you dying?75
51.Can I talk to him? Does he hear me? Will he talk to me?76
52.How can we have Christmas without her?77
53.Why do I still think he's not dead?78
V.Funerals and Cemeteries79
54.What is a "funeral home"?80
55.How does the funeral home get his good clothes?81
56.Why is it called a funeral "home"?82
57.What is a "mortician"?83
58.What is "embalming"?84
59.What's the difference between a casket and a coffin?85
60.What does "cremation" mean?86
61.How is a body cremated?87
62.What is a "viewing"?88
63.What is a "vigil"?89
64.What is a "wake"?90
65.What are "mourners"?91
66.What is a "survivor"?92
67.What is an "obituary"?93
68.Who writes what's said in the obituary?94
69.Why did her obituary say "and grandchildren" instead of giving my name like it gave yours?95
70.What happens at the funeral?96
71.Do I have to do something at the funeral?97
72.What do people wear to funerals?98
73.Why do we use special cars?99
74.Will I get to ride in a special car?100
75.Will I ride in the same car with you?101
76.Why can't I go to the funeral?102
77.Is it OK to be afraid of her body?103
78.Why didn't he look like himself in the coffin?104
79.Why couldn't I see his legs?106
80.Why was the coffin kept closed?107
81.Is the coffin locked?108
82.What's a "pallbearer"?109
83.Why does the priest use holy water and incense?110
84.What's the difference between a funeral and a memorial?111
85.Why didn't we have a funeral for him?112
86.Will there be a flag on the coffin?113
87.Will there be someone playing the bugle or shooting guns at the cemetery?114
88.Why do some people send flowers?115
89.Why are people buried?116
90.Who digs the hole?117
91.What if a body wakes up after it's buried?118
92.What's a "headstone"?119
93.What does "rest in peace" mean?120
94.What happens right after the funeral?121
95.Why do we have a big lunch after the funeral?122
96.Why were some people laughing after the vigil and after the funeral? Wasn't that rude?123
97.What am I supposed to do with the memorial card?124
98.Why do we go back and visit her grave?125
VI.Dealing with Others127
99.Why is Daddy (Mommy) so mad?128
100.Why didn't my cousins cry?129
101.What do I say when people say they're sorry?130
102.What do I say when people ask me how I'm doing?131
103.Why do my friends act as if nothing has happened?132
VII.On Dying133
104.Why couldn't I see her in the hospital?134
105.Who told you he was dead?135
106.Does it hurt to die?136
107.How did they know she was really dead?137
108.Why did it take so long for her to die?138
109.What does "pull the plug" mean?139
110.What is "euthanasia"?140
111.What did she die of?141
112.What is a "death certificate"?142
113.What is an "autopsy"?143
114.What was it like when she died?144
115.Did she talk about me?145
116.Will her body ever work again?146
117.What does "organ donor" mean?147
118.Don't some people almost die and then come back? Why didn't he come back?148
119.Now what happens to her stuff?149
Conclusion: The Good News151

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