When children realize that we are not here forever they start to ask questions like “where did Grandpa move” and similar. As parents we will tackle this according to our own knowledge and understanding. For religious people it isn’t all that difficult, we will just teach our children that which we know and believe. But if we don’t have a clue about the meaning of life and what we are doing here, the children’s’ questions can be quite troubling.
The first step would therefore seem to be figuring this out for ourselves. There are great sources for questions of life after death such as Rabbi Mizrachi. Once can also watch eyewitness movies where people who were clinically dead talk about the subject. What one must always ask is if the information can be tested as true or if it represents yet another fairy tale.
The idea of telling kids stories about death that aren’t true might not be so wise. As soon as the child realizes that it was all a story this could hurt the trust between the parent and child. In this situation it might be better to simply say that we don’t know.
One thing is for sure, if we panic about life and death questions and feel that it is very scary to even think of if there is an afterlife or not, our children will pick up on this. So if this is how you feel it could be a good idea to do something about it before the death questions come up…