How do you tell children about death? How do you teach them that life and death are part of one experience?
We had a problem with this when Nicholas was 3, and my grandmother died at the age of 94, after a good and long life. To be honest, we weren't sure how to break the news to him (Jeremy was only one and a half at the time). So we decided to explain the facts in a very gentle way. After our explanation, though, he'd understood that, at age 94, people die. He started obsessively memorizing birth dates and questioning people about their ages, to see how long they had left.
When the new little brother we were expecting was stillborn a year an half later, he wouldn't accept it: this wasn't possible, the baby had not been 94! There were no facts that we could tell him. We took him to the window instead, showed him the clear winter night sky, and pointed to the most beautiful and brightest star. We told him that was the soul of his little brother sparkling for him and for us from far away, but close enough for us to see him.
As our night sky filled with a few more stars (here), we realized how important it is to be able to speak to the soul, especially to the soul of a child facing the occurrence of death. Sometimes the facts really aren't enough.