Q: A family member my kids were very fond of recently committed suicide. We are all saddened and shocked and need to know how much information to give our kids.
— Tammy, Norman
A: Dear Tammy,
We are so sorry for your tragic loss.
Although all families are different, our training has taught us that honesty is always the best policy. Details are not necessary unless specific questions are asked.
We all struggle to understand suicide and explaining it to a child is next to impossible.
The reassurance that your family member loved your kids and helping them to remember the good times will hopefully soothe them and ease their pain.
Try to carry on with regular activities, and keep things as normal as possible.
Reassure them with your love and the knowledge that you are there for them.
Jeannie and Sally are certified school counselors with 49 years combined educational experience. Jeannie has two children, Sally three. The responses presented don’t necessarily represent the views of any certain school district. Please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.