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Please help with how to explain cancer/death to a 4yo

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OMG, time is going way to fast

Member since 9/08

3797 total posts


Please help with how to explain cancer/death to a 4yo

Long story short, my FIL was diagnosed with cancer last week. We're still waiting for the results on what stage. Either way, he is not doing well. He has diabetes, a weak heart and now his kidney's are shutting done. They have no idea why the kidney's are shutting down, they can't find any infection. I'm trying to stay positive, but I need to stay one step ahead for my daughter. As of now, the only thing she knows is he is in the hospital because his heart is sick. If things start taking a turn for the worst, how do I explain this to her? She just turned 4. If anyone has any experience with anything similar please help. you can FM me if you'd rather do that. Thanks Chat Icon

Posted 3/18/13 12:21 PM
Long Island Weddings
Long Island's Largest Bridal Resource

enjoying every minute

Member since 12/07

3881 total posts


Re: Please help with how to explain cancer/death to a 4yo

Sorry you are going thru this.

I would probably stick with the heart is sick.

I dont know that a 4 year old needs all the details. Cancer is scary enough for an adult.

My mother passed from Cancer when the grandchildren were all little.

We went with sick, going to heaven,. Its enough Chat Icon

Posted 3/18/13 12:32 PM


Member since 5/05

6263 total posts


Please help with how to explain cancer/death to a 4yo

There are a lot of good books on the subject. I can only recommend one for dogs.
That being said, when our dog died, I told my 4 year old that he was very sick and the doctor tried medicine and an operation but they didn't work and he died. He is in heaven now with G-d. Sadly, we had the same chat 6 months before bc of a house fire. My son believes heaven is a town far far away that you can't even get to my car or airplane and that's where G-d lives.
My sister passed way before DS was born and he knows she's in heaven too, playing with the dog.

Posted 3/18/13 1:46 PM

LIF Toddler

Member since 2/09

391 total posts


Please help with how to explain cancer/death to a 4yo

Buy the book te invisible string. It's about how we are connected to the people we love with an invisible string. No matter how far away we are still connected. It's good for parents going back to work and for kids who will deal with the loss of a loved one. It helps. I hav usd this with kids who lost diblings. You don't have to explain in detail. The sick heart is more than enough. If you have more questions please ask.

Posted 3/18/13 3:56 PM

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