How Children Think
Children do not think in the same manner as do adults. No one understood that better than Jean Piaget, noted Swiss psychologist who studied children and developed his theory of four stages of cognitive development. Based on his ideas, here are things to keep in mind.
Young children need direct, concrete experience to understand a concept. This may be a serious variable that influences how a child will accept and process the death of a sibling.
Children are often literal, so be careful what words you choose to explain what is happening.
Kids prior to elementary school age have a distorted view of reversibility. and reality. Can someone come back to life? This child may assume so.
Egocentrism is normal, and it takes time for children to step out of themselves and understand the point of view of another. This can be encouraged by discussion and parent modeling, but child's ability to emphasize should be growing over time.