Hi and welcome to Ask Missy Mondays where I respond to a question from readers. Today’s question came a couple of weeks ago but it took me a while to research the answer. You see one of my best friends passed away after a long battle with colon cancer. You can read more about her story here.
As if her passing were not enough, she leaves behind the most precious 3 year old. How do you tell a 3-year-old child that their parent has died?
And With Honesty.
And Considering religious beliefs.
My heart breaks for Dawn’s Dad. My heart breaks for Dawn’s daughter. My heart breaks for Terri and Steve who will eventually adopt Ava and care for her for the rest of her life.
To assist, I found a few resources for the family.
I Miss You
I Miss You: A First Look at Death Book, is authored by Pat Thomas who happens to be a counselor. It’s written for younger children. So it may be perfect for Dawn’s daughter. You can read more about it here.
Help Me Say Goodbye
Help Me Say Goodbye might also be helpful. However, Dawn and her family are deeply religious. The activities in the book are not directly tied to God, Jesus, and life in Heaven. So some pages may need to be skipped. Alternatively, adults could get purchase the book and then duplicate the activities that may help Dawn’s daughter (e.g., draw a picture of you and mommy together when mommy was alive). You can read more about it here.
The Invisible String
I found this book while looking for other resources. The Invisible String is not religious but it is a simply story about love and people who you love. You can read more about it here.
Samantha Jane’s Missing Smile
Samantha Jane’s Missing Smile. This is a story about death. However, in this book, the Dad dies. It may or may not be good for Dawn’s daughter because it is about a Dad but it may help her relate emotionally. You can read more about this book here.
I came across two other possibilities. However, without reading them, it is difficult to know if they will be appropriate. One is called, Where are You (available here) and the other is called “What’s Heaven” by Maria Shriver (available here).
Telling a child that she has lost her only parent must be one of the most difficult situations ever. Surround the child with love and listen with your ears and your eyes.