After the passing of a beloved pet or relative -- or in the mournful aftermath of horrific tragedies like the Sandy Hook school shooting -- parents often struggle to find a suitable way to discuss death with their kids.
If you can't imagine how you would even start the conversation, Jezebel has an idea.
On Monday, the blog posted this moving "Sesame Street" clip, commenting: "[I]t'll break your heart about fifty times in one viewing."
In the video, taken from the famous "Sesame Street" episode "Farewell, Mr. Hooper," which first aired on November 24, 1983, Big Bird learns that Mr. Hooper, the original owner of Hooper's Store, has died.
"Mr. Hooper is not coming back," Susan, played by Loretta Long, tells Big Bird gently. "When people die, people don't come back."
It's not the first time "Sesame Street" has come to the aid of parents seeking to explain complicated and frightening concepts to their children. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the "Sesame Street" team recut an episode about hurricanes and post-storm rebuilding originally produced in 2001.
The National Institutes of Health urges adults to engage their children in discussions about loss, no matter how daunting that may initially seem.
"Death is an inescapable fact of life. We must deal with it, and so must our children. If we are to help them, we must let them know it's okay to talk about it," an NIH pamphlet titled "Talking to Children About Death" says.
"By talking to our children about death, we may discover what they know and do not know; if they have misconceptions, fears, or worries. We can then help them by providing information, comfort, and understanding."
Have you talked to your kids about death? Are you afraid to? Share your experiences in the comments section below.
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