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Advice to a 8 year old

Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2019

Hello. My dad is in hospice now from stage 4 pancreatic cancer and we are just waiting for him to pass away now. He was diagnosed just 30 days ago and now he is going to be gone. I am having a difficult time as this is the hardest thing in the world to handle but more importantly, I don't know what to tell my son. I have a wife and a 4 year old daughter. In the next few days I will have to tell them that pop-pop has passed away. 


My 4 year old can't really comprehend this but my 8 year old boy can. I specifically took him up this past weekend to have one more good weekend with pop pop. we sat him down and explained that pop pop has cancer and Is really sick which he cried a lot hearing. Last night after I returned home he started crying and I asked him why and he said It don't want pop-pop to pass away'. Which of course broke my entire heart hearing. I don't know what to say to him other than to just hold him and tell him I love him so much. 

As a parent this wasn't in the manual and I could use some help. Does anyone know a live chat or some advice that they can give?

thank you so much



Elaine_wi's picture
Posts: 119
Joined: Jun 2017

This is a lot for you to figure out by yourself. There are people out there to help. Does the hospital system that your Dad in have a social worker or a counselor to talk too? I am so sorry that you and your family are going through this. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Posts: 500
Joined: Nov 2013

Sorry to read about what you are going through.  I have watched two families with young children go through this loss.  One of the families has a 3 yr old.  Surprisingly he understands grandma is gone.  He has been told about grandma being in heaven.  He understands at his level.  They say prayers at night and mention blessing certain people by name and he includes his grandma.  It doesnt appear difficult for him as a 3 year old.  The other family has a 6 and 11 year old, and lost their father.  They also believe in heaven.  They do cry and are quite sad and insecure.  I think the greatest thing the mom does is to listen, and never avoid communicating.  She answers all questions, and doesnt hide her own tears or sadness.  But they also talk about all the wonderful stories about their dad.  All of them are slowly recovering.  Kids understand more than you know.  If it seems like they need more help I suggest you get a child therapist for them.  For instance if they dont want to eat, have trouble sleeping, or have new fears or anxieties.  Be a good listener, and let them talk and ask questions.  Keep your answers very simple.

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