Talking about Death

How do you talk to your child about death?

Our Daddy MD Guide’s reply: I often get asked about how to deal with telling children about death. I encourage parents to take an honest, open approach with this topic. Children are capable of handling a lot and need to be informed as accurately as possible about the realities of life. I thus encourage honest and open communication and counseling as necessary. When our pet cat recently died and when we come across dead insects while hiking, I take the opportunity to explain that everything on the planet stops breathing at some point and passes away from this life.

Moshe Lewis, MD, MPH, a dad of a four-year-old son, a pain management specialist, and the director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the California Pacific Medical Center, St Luke’s Campus, in San Francisco