DEAR DEIDRE: MY daughter is suffering after the death of her grandma, an uncle and one of my cousins within the space of two years.
I’m her 42-year-old dad. My daughter’s seven.
She was very close to these family members and saw them all regularly.
She’s now asking me when me and my wife are going to die and, when we do, what will happen to her.
I know it is on her mind a lot because one of her teachers rang me to tell me our daughter was crying in the playground.
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She is normally a happy-go-lucky little girl, so I know this is out of character for her.
I am not sure how to reassure her and worry I could say the wrong thing.
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DEIDRE SAYS: Talking to a child about death is one of the most difficult conversations we can have as parents.
It’s important to be calm and truthful when answering her questions.
Listen to the underlying worries and feelings, while also being reassuring.
Say you know it’s sad to think of someone close to her dying, but you hope you will be around for a very long time to come.
You can get advice from Winston’s Wish, which supports bereaved children and their families (winstonswish.org, 08088 020 021).