Chapter 5: Children at the bedside

Encouraging questions

My son said nothing at first and I respected that. But then three days later he came back with a lot of questions. He just needed the time to process the news.

Children will likely have many questions about what is happening to the dying person, but without encouragement, they may be reluctant to ask.

To begin, make sure you understand the question that is being asked. It can be easy to misinterpret children’s questions. For example, a child may ask “What happens after death?” It is easy for adults to assume they are enquiring about afterlife; however, many children who ask this question, especially young children, are in fact interested in knowing what will happen to the person’s body after death.

The following are some ideas to help create an environment for children to ask questions:

Encouraging questions