Talking to Preschoolers About Death and Terminal Illness
First and foremost, you need to tell your daughter that something very sad is happening; that her aunt is very sick with a disease called cancer, and you are all worried about her because you love her so much. She needs to know that there is a reason for your fear and anger. As you receive more information, you should explain it to her in a way she can understand: The doctors are trying to make her better.
It is important that you have adults you can share your concerns and feelings with so that your daughter knows you are going to be OK. She may need reassurance, extra hugs and explanations about what is happening. Don't whisper around her. Be sure to include her, allow her to ask questions, and let her know that you are there to take care of her. It's okay to cry around or with her, as long as you let her know you're crying because you're sad and that she didn't do anything to make you sad.