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taking children to a funeral....advice please

Sorry for the depressing post.......

sadly the girls great grandad passed away on the weekend and the in-laws want know if they will be attneding the funeral with us. im not to worried about dd2 as she is 2yrs and wont really pay attention but a bit unsure about dd1 who will be 6 nxt mth. ive explained to her that he died and her response was just "ok mummy" in a really casual way then carried on playing. I dont mind taking them but I just dont want it to backfire and for her to start worrying about death/dying etc- the topic has never really come up before but i know she took it in as she came home from school today saying she told her friends about great grandad dying. also, if they dont go to the funeral i wont be able to go as its on a wednesday at 3pm so there will be no1 to look after the girls for me anyway. arrrgh im so stressed about it, not knowing what to do for the best, obviously i dont want them growing up not knowing about death and thinking life is sweet and simple as its not. help.....what do u ladies think? any1 had any experience with this? xxxx


  • I think you need to consider if would it upset your daughter a lot to see her family members cry? This can often be the most traumatic part of a funeral for children - seeing the adults that make their world safe vunerable. I remember being terrified after my grandad died that everyone would die and leave me, but I think I was a little older than your dughter. Sorry, I dont think I am much help, im pregnant with me first so I havent a clue how I would handle it. I dont think there is a right or wrong answer hun. sorry for your loss xx
  • Firstly, I am sorry for your loss.

    I too don't think there is a right or wrong answer...

    Every child is different.

    Could you go, but maybe not sit at the front, so if dd wants to take a moment, you can pop out if needs be?

    Then after the funeral, take some time to explain the day and why people cried as best you can to her?

    Tell her she can ask you anything, anytime. (I'm sure you have already done this!)

    Good luck with what you decide to do, and hope the day goes well. Hugs xx
  • i always remember my step grandmas funeral, i was 12 my brothers were 8 and 4, my yougest brother didnt really understand but both me and my other brother got very upset during the whole thing, as nobody else was crying we stood out, you know your daughter best and wether she will handle it well ir not,

    personally i would just go to the wake with them, were the chidlren very close to him?
  • thanks for the replies, im sure she doesnt really understand tbh, its my 5 yr old im more concerned about, my 2 yr old will jus happily sit there and so will my 5yr old BUT im worried she will get very confused if she sees the people closest to her upset and crying- im pretty sure i will be able to control my feelings and not seem too upset in front of them. we used to see him all the time then when i was expecting dd2 he was diagnosed with alzeimers and deterioated (sp?) really quickly so was in a care home for the past yr and we havnt seen him very much, but dd1 still knows who he is. we made him some cakes at xmas time and all she says to me perhaps he ate the cakes and it made him die? i said it had nothing to do with the cakes but she keeps bringing it up. i would like them to come so they may understand a bit more of what happens when people die but not sure if its worth the risk of upsetting them. also, as its at 3pm i cant go to the funeral then pick her up after to go to the wake as she finishes school at 3:20, if it was in the morning i think i prob would have taken her to school as normal then picked her up after the funeral and go to the wake. my instincts at the moment are saying not to let them go, but take them to the wake, so doesnt look like i will be goin to the funeral either. image
  • Hi hun so sorry for your loss.

    I am a strong believer in not over protecting children too much when it comes to death at the end of the day its the only thing we can be certain will happen (sorry depressing i know), but I went to my grandad funeral when I was 7 and I saw people crying for him and I got upset, but i'm so pleased i went. Its natural to be upset when people die and I don't think this needs to be hidden from kids if you know what i mean. obviously it might be distressing for you to see dd1 upset, but it will allow her to ask questions about death and I think this is good as long as the answers arent to in depth iykwim. My reply might be contraversial but I strongly believe death is a huge part of life. I know kids grow up too fast and possible exposed to things they shouldn't be too young but I don't believe death is one of these things. I would take them. She knows him explain to her its a way to say goodbye and cry if you want to and then be happy for his life and remember him afterwards at the wake.

    Obviously it ultamately comes down to what your comfortable with and maybe you could ask if she wants to go?? and go with that sorry if i have confused you more.

    lots of love

    Mez (we will properly meet one day lol)

  • tough one! I think if your instincts are saying no you need to go with that, my children are five and four and my grandmother died 18 months ago and neither of them went to the funeral, I accept it's a natural part of life and we did explain what had happened and dd who was four at the time had seen my nan when she was poorly in hospital, but I also thought that their memories of their great gran would be sparse anyhow at their ages as the grow, and didn't want their memories clouded with the memory of a funeral, That has worked out quite well for us, they still talk about their great nan alot, although they also mention about her being poorly and dying, they have nice memories, too. My youngest brother was 9 at the time and he did go to the funeral but he was VERY upset. I lost three of my great grandparents (Iwas very lucky to know two full sets of great grandparents) between the ages of 6 and 10, I didn't attend any of their funerals, I knew they died, but I also have lovely memories of them, I'm not sure i would have if I had had to go through a funeral service for them and knowing that it was their bodies being lowered into the grounds or behind the curtains. I think I was 14 when I attended my first funeral and that was for another great grandparent, it was upsetting but I had seen her deteriorate and knew it was for the best and had ended her suffering, unfortunately I lost quite a few friends and family in a very short space of time in my late teens and early twenties, at one point I had attended 4 funerals in 9 months all for people under the age of 35, that was harrowing and has had a lasting impact on me and my views of death, even though I was alot older, we have to go to so many funerals over the years and accept death at some point, I don't think it is essential at such a young age, however it is a shame that you wouldn't be able to make it yourself. Is there any of your dd's friends who could help with school pick up? I'm sure if you explained they would understand your request?
  • Firstly, I am sorry for your loss, I think it is a personal decision but this is my experience of having to make it. My dad died when ds1 was 2 and a half and ds1 was just 6 weeks old. I explained to ds1 what had happened (as best you can at that age) but I decided it wasn't fair for him to go to the funeral. My main reason behind this was because I knew he wouldn't really understand what was happening, he would see his mummy upset, his Nan and Uncle etc etc upset and not be old enough for me to fully explain why. Also I wanted to be able to focus on the service, and my dad and not have to worry about my sons. A friend very kindly looked after my boys while I was at the service and then she brought them to the hall where we had tea and cakes etc. This was really nice as it gave everyone a lovely distraction after all the sadness at the church. x
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