In Indian culture and tradition death is also considered a ritual and tradition. The meaning of death and the person who is gone will never come back-this understanding develops in a child almost after seven years. Though the atmosphere of the house is sad and sorrowful but one person should take the responsibility of giving answers to all the questions asked by the child. For an old person’s death we can explain the child that as the age increases every organ of our body becomes weak and gradually it stops working. If the death is of an uncle, aunt, father or mother then tell the child about the illness, disease or accident. Also make the child understand that it is not that every person who is suffering from illness or meets an accident has to die only. The child takes some time to accept the sudden death of the person.
In the beginning the child will be in grief though he is explained all the things at a proper time and in proper manner. But the absence of deceased person will be accepted by accepted by him very fast. For the child also when such incident happens for the first time it is very shocking. The child is unable to accept the sudden absence of the person with whom he has played, grown up, ate his meals and slept. For two months it might happen the child might not eat properly, will play less, suddenly throw tantrums, loses interest from everything. But gradually he accepts the absence of his beloved person. Do not make false stories like the deceased person has gone out of country; he has gone to God’s house and will come back after few days. Don’t tell the children that don’t ask any question regarding the deceased person. You are small, go away from here or I will tell you later. Because of such statements he will have 1000 more questions popping in his mind. The child should be allowed to attend all the rituals, ceremonies, bhajans etc. done for the deceased person and should be explained the importance of every ritual. Because of this it might happen that the child might remember the good deeds and good qualities of the deceased person and will try and implement them in his life. After the death of the near and dear one on some special occasions, festivals, and holidays or when good result comes, the child misses the person and becomes sad, quiet and restless. But this is just for couple of hours or days. The other family members should help the child to become calm. Try and stay with the child or sleep with the child and give him warmth and affection.
If there are some negative things of the deceased person, then parents should not keep on discussing in front of the child. If seriously everybody does the talk of the elderly person and that also repeatedly then the child builds prejudice in his mind for the deceased person. At times the child might ask directly what do you mean by death or what is dead? Death means the daily work done by body completely stops. The body won’t walk, speak, eat and move. Generally the next question of the child is when will you or mummy die? The answer for this question can be, ‘God has given us long life. I will die when you have very big children. This way a child can be explained things. If in good or bad times the elderly people are remembered in positive manner, then the child will always remember it and would implement their good qualities in his or her life too. And in any of the social functions if his grandparents or elderly person is remembered then he or she will also feel proud. We don’t have to teach our child to forget the deceased person but have to teach them to remember them always and accept their absence.