How do you explain death to a four year old?
My name is Heather and I have a four year old daughter. She is quite mature and very curious and creative. My husband's uncle passed away a few months ago, and we struggled to explain it to her. We told her that he had died, but she often plays games where her dolls are dead and then she, as the doctor, brings them back to life! Also, we struggled saying that he was buried in the ground and leaving it at that. That is what we believe, but it sounds different saying it to a four year old. The image of a loved one being buried in the ground is difficult for me as an adult, and with the imagination of a preschooler, I have no idea what she is picturing as her great uncle now. My husband said that his body is in the ground but his spirit remains in our memories and in the places he has been and the people who he interacted with. Tricky concept for a four year old, and just the other day she asked me how he doesn't fall on us when it rains.
I feel like I could be doing a better job explaining this. What phrases or concepts would you use with her in this situation?? Any advice or suggestions would be really appreciated!!