I wanted to share the advice we were given from the team about how to talk about death and what children might do or say. We used the proper word 'dead' and 'died' so that children don't wonder how someone was 'lost' or how you 'pass'. We found that when we started the conversation by talking about pets and grandparents, that they understood, and used these terms themselves. We know that Kindergarten children might react like this: bedtime anxiety, seeking physical contact, showing signs of sadness or anger, and even violent play or death reinactment. They may ask lots of questions but should be made to understand that death is not reversible or temporary.
At school, they have been offered ways to express their feelings, through making cards and pictures, talking about our love for Mrs. Wilmott and what we will miss. We will have a special assembly on April 30th to remember her, and her family has asked us to plant a tree in her honour on the property. Do take some time to discuss these things with your children, so we don't create a taboo subject.
Mrs. Wilmott was hired to work with specific students but it was her joy to help everyone. She loved working with the kindies and her eyes lit up when she talked about them. We will not forget her sweet loving ways with each child, her stories, her listening ear, her blue coat, her water bottle. She was a huge part of our loving Tos family and we will miss her for a long, long time.