Telling the Twins

March 26, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Posted in Death, Grief, silver lining, twins | 8 Comments
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We did not have too much time to figure out how to tell the twins that Sawyer died.  I went with whatever came out of my mouth first.  Evan and I did have some time to figure out what we would tell the twins when Evan’s mom died.  Below are some options that we could have told the twins when talking to the twins about Jake, Sawyer and Evan’s mom:

  1. We lost Jake.  We lost Sawyer.  We lost Mom Mom.  They are not lost.  I knew where Jake and Sawyer were every minute they were alive.  I know where they are now that they have died. On a separate point,  if they were lost –  I would have found them by now (if I had not found them, some one should report me to family services and/or the police).
  2. Jake, Sawyer and Mom Mom went to sleep.  We all go to sleep.  Some of us take longer to go to sleep than others.  No need to make going to sleep scary for the twins.
  3. Jake was sick.  Sawyer was sick.  Mom Mom was sick.  Jake was premature.  We still do not know what happened to Sawyer.  Mom Mom had cancer.  We did tell the twins that Mom Mom was sick and the medicine she took no longer worked.
  4. Jake, Sawyer and Mom Mom passed away.  I used this option quite a bit when Jake first died.  However, when I spoke to the twins about death – “passed away” did not seem quite right anymore. 

We told the twins that Mom Mom died.  We told them that she had been sick for a long time.  The medicine no longer worked.  They both looked at us.  Our daughter asked, “Where is Mom Mom?”  Before either of us could answer, she said, “Oh, I know Mom Mom is with Sawyer and Jake.”   Evan and I could not have given them a more perfect answer. 


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  1. Hi Lanie…I have been behind in reading so tonight decided to catch up. Thank you again for this huge gift of sharing your heart in this way. I am sorry about your mother-in-law. Sounds like she was amazing.

    Sending you all love. Look at the Kiberia children’s prayer for Japan I sent when you have a chance; I know you will appreciate it.

    xo Debbie

  2. Lanie,
    Children understand so much more than we give them credit for. My two little grandlittles adored their Poppi. Hannah, four, explained to me that Poppi was in heaven now so I shouldn’t worry about him. From the mouths of babes.


  3. Lanie, I was gone and just returned to read three of your posts. Reading them all in a row is really quite something. I realize how much you help bring me back to reality, and help me to appreciate all that is truly important. Just as you help me, in many ways Fletcher and Alyssa help you in their honest, beautiful, outlook on life. They are truly blessed to have you and Evan. All my love, Amy

  4. What perfect evidence that you have given the twins the tools they need to make sense of extremely difficult things. She has what she needs to find comfort in the sadness. You are incredible.

  5. Lanie, I’ve just been catching up on reading your past couple posts. My heart just broke reading about you figuring out how to tell the twins about sweet Sawyer. I can relate in trying to find the ‘best words’, but I cannot imagine having to tell your children about their brother. I am always amazed at how much children understand and, in their innocence, I think we can find healing at times. Thank you for sharing your heart. Take care of yourself…love to you all.

  6. Just sending you and your family love at this tough time.

  7. You are an amazing mom!

  8. […] and I have tried our best to explain to the twins that Jake, Sawyer and Mom Mom are dead.  It is hard to tell what actually is going on […]

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