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Explaining Death to Young Children

Grandma is now a Butterfly
Written by Tracy Carson

Tracy offers the full version of "Grandma is now a Butterfly" with illustrations on her website grandmaisnowabutterfly. Tracy has generously given us permission to reprint the text here. Your support of Tracy's work is encouraged and we thank her for her generous gift.



Grandma is now a Butterfly

By: Tracy Carson

Grandma is now a Butterfly

Tae was a silly little girl. She loved to run and play. One of her favorite things to do was to go to Grandmas house. Tae loved her Grandma. Tae and Grandma would play for hours. They loved to take walks and cook snacks for Grandpa. Tae would always tell her Grandma, "Grandma, you're the best, I love you!" Grandma would always tickle Tae’s nose and say, "you’re the best, I love you more!" They would laugh and laugh. They had so much fun together.

One day Tae was playing with her kitten when she heard her Mommy and Daddy crying. Tae ran to her Mommy and asked "Mommy why are you crying?" Mommy told her that she had some very sad news. Tae felt scared. She had never seen her Mommy look so sad.

Tae looked at Mommy and knew something bad had happened. Mommy took Tae’s hand and told her that Grandpa had just called and that Grandma had died. Tae was not sure what "died" really meant. She once had a puppy that Daddy said "died" and it never came home again. Did this mean Grandma would never come home? She was very confused and sad. What did all this mean? Tae too began to cry. Where was her Grandma? Tae said, "Mommy, I want my Grandma."

Mommy explained that Grandma is now in Heaven. She has left Earth and is now an angel in Heaven. Tae did not understand, why would Grandma leave? Why didn't she say good-bye? Where is Heaven? Tae was very sad that her Grandma had left. Mommy explained, that when it is time to leave for Heaven you just have to go. Sometimes you do not get a chance to say goodbye.

Mommy told Tae that going to Heaven is like a caterpillar turning into a beautiful butterfly. When a caterpillar is ready to move on to a new life it spins into a cocoon and then comes out a beautiful butterfly and flies away. That is what happens when you die and become an angel, you get beautiful wings and fly away with the angels to Heaven. Tae did understand about caterpillars turning into butterflies.

Mommy explained that Grandma has flown to Heaven and is in a very wonderful place. Although we will all miss Grandma very much, she has moved on to a new life and a new adventure with her new wings.

Tae realized that things were going to be different without Grandma. She was going to miss her Grandma very much. Mommy explained that it was all right to cry and to miss Grandma. Mommy explained that Grandma still loves her very much and that she will be sending her love from heaven.

A few months later Tae was playing in the backyard with her kitten. She was thinking about how much she misses her Grandma. Just then a beautiful butterfly tickled Tae’s nose. She chased the butterfly and laughed and laughed. Grandma is now a Butterfly.

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