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A Child's Question
Death is the term given to a very confusing stage of life. We all understand that plants die in winter and that unfortunately, beloved pets and animals die too. We can also understand that death is the way nature works.

That given, it is much significantly harder to understand or process why people we know and love die. When someone we care for and loves dies, we feel extremely sad and upset about the loss, but can also feel afraid, and even angry. Understanding about this part of life can help us feel much better about the whole process as we appreciate a little better the natural cycle of life.

Why do people die?

Dying is a natural stage in everyone's life. Every living thing- animals, plants, even people- are special parts of God's natural creations. In the most cases, nature gives you long, healthy lives but like other living things, people grow old and reach the end of their natural life. This is called dying, or death.

Why can't doctors stop someone from dying?

In many cases, they do. However, sometimes even when doctors have tried their very best, people die. Doctors help people to live long and healthy lives and in today's day and age, people are living much longer than when your grandparents were children. Other places that help people are hospitals. Doctors and nurses work inside hospitals to help make people better and become healthy, before coming back home.

Where do dead people go?

Most people believe that when someone dies, part of them goes to Heaven. This part of us isn't like other parts of our bodies such as our brain or heart that doctors have to take care of. It's the part of us that allows us to feel happiness and love. It never wears out or gets sick. This is called the soul or the spirit. All over the world, lots of people think that when they die, their souls, or spirits, live on forever.

No one can see someone's spirit. We cannot see Heaven either but we believe in them and have faith that they exist. This is what faith is- believing in something that we cannot see or measure.

Does death hurt?

Doctors tell us that death isn't typically painful. Normally, dying is almost always quiet. If someone dies in an accident, they feel no pain most of the time as death comes very quickly. When someone is hurting or feeling sick for a long time before they die, special medicines help take the pain away.

When someone dies are they being punished?

Dying is never a punishment. In most cases, death is almost always a natural occurrence. Illnesses or time wear out important parts of our bodies and after many years, these parts don't work as they once did. When these parts of our bodies- such as our hearts or lungs- stop working, people die.

God has blessed us all with strong bodies that last for a long time usually. However, sometimes being poorly and sick makes our bodies stop working before the person gets old. No one ever dies because God is angry, and death is never a punishment. Death occurs when an important part of their body stops working properly.

Will I ever see the person that has died?

Unfortunately, when somebody dies they do not ever come back to life again. This is why people are sad when someone they love dies. It is natural to miss that person and you may always miss them. But as time passes, it is likely that you will not always feel so sad about it. In time, you will also understand that the person you love has gone to Heaven.

Many people believe Heaven is a happy place where they will meet the people they love after they have died. So, after a long, long time from now, you will get to meet the person who has died and gone to Heaven.

How long will I live?

No one ever knows how long s/he will live. We all understand that we will not live forever and that when we grow old, death gets a little closer. Just imagine how crowded the world would be if everyone lived forever!

This doesn't mean that people worry all the time about getting old and dying. As we get older, we learn more about what it means to live, and the process of death and dying.

Almost everyone lives for a long, long time. How old do you think you will live?

Why did someone I love have to die?

Death doesn't seem fair. It is normal to ask questions such as 'Why did this special person have to die?' and everyone understands your upset and confusion.

Almost every single person in the world is loved by others and will be greatly missed when they pass away. Right this second, someone else in the world will be asking the exact same question as you.

Is death like sleeping?

People who die look like they are sleeping, although death is nothing like sleeping at all.People and animals sleep to rest and remain healthy. For our bodies to build up strength, we must all sleep. Just think about how wonderful you feel when you have been to sleep.

You feel better because your body is ready for another day and you are well rested. When someone passes away, their body stops working completely. It isn't resting as it's job is over.

Why do some people die when they are young?

Sometimes, but not very often, a child dies. Being very unwell with an illness or an accident can cause this to happen but it is quite rare. The death of a young person makes us all feel very sad and unhappy. We feel that it isn't fair and that it was too soon to lose a special person from our lives.

We all hope that children will live a long, happy and healthy life and understand that we will miss a brother or sister or young friend more than we might miss someone else. Sometimes we may even feel upset that we have fought or argued with that young child, especially when they are no longer with us.

Why do grown-ups die before they get old?

Most adults are healthy and strong. This means that they will live until they are old but sometimes, a grown-up's heart, or another part of their body, stops working completely. Being strong and big doesn't always help, sometimes people still die before they get old.

It is important to remember that it is not the grown up's fault. It is also not God's fault, nor is it your fault. It is likely that no other grown up will die in your lifetime before they get very old, so try not to worry about this.

How can I stop feeling sad and upset?

It's natural to cry and be upset when someone you love dies. It is also natural that you miss them and you may feel lonely. You may also feel confused too. Many people- not just children- feel the same when someone they loves die.

When you hurt yourself, sadness is something like the pain you feel. In the beginning, it hurts very much but it will get easier each day. In time, the pain will not be there anymore and you will be able to think about the person who has passed away without feeling upset or sad.

At the moment, you are trying to understand more about death and the cycle of life. It will take time for your sadness to go away but it does help to ask questions.

It is also very helpful to tell the people around you how you are feeling. Be truthful and do not pretend about your emotions- if you are sad, try to avoid saying that you aren't. It is important to accept that sadness is part of the natural grieving process.

Do people die because they are unhappy?

We can sometimes feel sick for a while when we are unhappy. But almost nobody dies because they are feeling unhappy. If you remember back to when you have felt unhappy, you will remember that sooner or later you will feel better again.

Soon enough you will begin to smile and laugh again. Everybody goes through times like this and it has nothing to do with death and dying.


  At Exmouth & District Funeral Services, we realise that this is an unusual and difficult time for you. As such, your contact with us is a personal and professional priority. Our primary goal is to be available to you and perform the professional and caring service needed, in order to reduce the burden to you and your family.  
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