Just curious here... Opinions/experiences wanted...

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Feb 22, 2006
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John's grandfather passed away last night, God rest his soul. He wasn't so much as in pain, but life really wasn't what it should've been for him. I know he's been in a nursing home for the last few years, and every time it seemed he was on the verge of passing away, he'd rebound to an extent. Well, this time he didn't. Thankfully, John went to see him one last time this past weekend.

John's taking the next three days off using bereavement time, and while I can't, I am taking off Thursday. Originally, I was taking it off to be home with the kids so he could go to the funeral (as much as I wanted to go and support him), but he didn't seem to keen on that idea, so I'm going... WITH THE KIDS!

Now, Cyera's old enough to understand about life and death, and knows death is part of life and happens to everyone and everything. However, Kylie's only 3 and doesn't know anything about it at all. I'm not too keen on taking them to the funeral, but John said to just bring them instead of getting a sitter for them.

So, my question for you is this: Have you ever been in this position? Having to take two young kids to a funeral, while you'd rather NOT put them in that "position." I'm just not happy about it, but now isn't the time to argue and throw a fit over it either. I just want to know what you all think of it. TIA!!!

I think as long as you don't make it a scary thing there's nothing wrong with it........but I don't think it's a good idea to let them see the body........have they ever had pets pass away or anything.

being left out and in the dark I think would make death more scary for them and make death a mystery........you don't want them to fear death.......I think this is a way for them to learn this is not something to be scared of.

many adults don't know how to deal with death so if they deal with it head on now maybe they'll have the skills to cope later on in life.

I'm sorry for your loss and John and his family are in my thoughts.

I am with you dentaldee. its such a difficult position to be in. if any thing, i think you should take Cyera just because, like you said, she is old enough to understand. usually its best to go with your gut instincts about stuff like this. I was thinking maybe taking them to the church funeral..but then the body will be there..

Well, John doesn't believe it'll be an open casket. Even if so, I don't have to take the girls up to pay last respects. John's dog passed not too long ago, and they know about that. Cyera first learned about death when the family dog died when she was 3, and I basically explained it to her by reminding her what happened to Charlie in "All Dogs Go to Heaven." She caught on quick. We've had a few pets pass since then, and she's been bawling over Meerkat Manor for the last month (Aprill, shut up and don't cry)!

So, I reckon I'll just try to calm my nerves, and figure this is another step in life we all have to take. I need to quit being so over-protective... I swear LOL!

I am with you and agree that it is hard to take children to a funeral, and I suggest that you stay home, but if the hubby wants you to go, then I suggest you do, and maybe could you sit near the back so that they are not "right there" ya know? Maybe brief them before the funeral, let them know what is going on so forth and so on. I also found this, it is intersting:

Explaining The Funeral to Your Children

i went to my grandfather's funeral last year, it was my first. before, well there was so much going on when my dad's mom died it was somehow easier if my brother and i stayed at home while my parents were gone.

as a rule my mom said a kid can always avoid a funeral and it's better that way. i remember for my mom's mother, one member of our family stayed at home with all the kids.

so i suggest if you have to go either find a kind neighbour you can trust and who is willing to have your kids for a day or two at home, or stay in the back so if your kids get a bit bored and excited, they won't disturb too much the others.

That is a tough decision to be in. I remember being about 8 and my grandfather had passed. Everyone told me about his death and what to expect at the funeral.

But when I got to the funeral home, I was filled with terrible anxiety and cried uncontrollably. My mom had to take me out to the car for the duration of the funeral.

IMO, I think a child should wait until 10 before going to a funeral. Seeing an animal that had passed is not the same as seeing a person in a casket.

If you do talk to the child and decide to bring them to the funeral, be prepared that things will not go as planned, and they may need to leave just as I had to.

My parent's took me to my grandpa's funeral when I was 5, my brother was younger at the time. My dad took me and my brother outside, or downstairs (the funeral had a downstairs section) as not to be in the room with the open casket and my mom crying hysterically.

That was when I first learned about death, and my mom told me that my grandpa loved me, but I wouldn't see him again.

When I was eight, my grandma died, and I was in the hospital with her when she did. I went to the wake/funeral and bawled the whole damn time. When I got too out of control with my crying, I left the room.

I think you should take her, so she understands a little more. You should just explain that people will cry because they miss the person, but now her great grandpa is in a better place.

She is eventually going to have to go to one, and if she understands death, and you try to make it as easy as possible, then it shouldn't be an issue.You don't have to bring her up to the casket or anything.

I'm sorry for your loss.

I'm also sorry for your loss. I think I agree with Solimar and the others. You could take this as an opportunity for them to deal with death, but also be aware that you might need to sit outside with the kids.

Good luck, this must be a difficult time for you. Lots of hugs

Well, we ended up taking them. And we were the ONLY ones who brought our kids. His cousin left her daughters and son at home.

The kids were fine. They seemed oblivious to it all. Thank goodness! I on the other hand, broke down. I didn't know John's grandfather, but I hadn't mourned my grandmother's death (she died about 3-4 weeks before we moved to NY 2 years ago). I would've been okay, except the service opened with Psalm 23, and ended with The Lord's Prayer, both of which were nightly prayers in my grandmother's house.

John's been very good to me, even though I feel horrible I'm not mourning his grandfather as opposed to my grandmother. He said if I want, I can visit his grandfather's grave with him in honor of my grandmother. So, that's pretty cool I have a sense of closure I guess. Thanks everyone for your advice! I appreciate it a lot!

I went to my first funeral at 6 so idk. I wasnt traumatized or anything but i guess it depends on the individual.

same here, i went to my first funeral when i was six, it was a relative of my aunts husband no one close to me so i wasnt upset, but i was nervous being in the same room with a dead person, i even view the body. my dad has always been pretty straight up from early on he talk about death and told me its gonna happen to everyone and dont worry dead people cant hurt you.

sorry for your lost..

I'm sorry for your loss Aquilah. A death in a family can be hard, but I feel that it's always a good intention to let the kids understand what is happening instead of being left out and confused of the situation. Every child needs to know the diff btwn life and death. Maybe when they're really young, they can't grasp what death is...but at least when they're older then can easily cope with it more. The first funeral I ever went to was my paternal grandfather's funeral. I was 13 at the time, and I took it hard since it was him and my grandma who took care of me when I was little. I cried hysterically since it was my FIRST funeral in which I had to see my grandpa's body at the open casket. I don't think a child has to endure that, but they should at least attend to pay their respects. My younger cousin who actually went to the funeral didn't quite know what happened since nobody said why she was there. She was 3 at the time and they left her in the dark w/o saying "grandpa's passed away"

The next day during dinner she asked my aunt "Mommy, where's Grandpa? how come he's not here to have dinner with us?" We were all silent...and we didn't know what to say. My aunt had to say "Grandpa can't ever have dinner with us anymore because he passed away. he's sleeping right now, and he's going to be sleeping for a very long time because he's in a happier place" She was a bit confused, but she finally understood a little later on. She then remarked "It's ok mommy. I understand, Grandpa isn't here to eat dinner with us, but he's in heaven looking down as us" I think we all managed to get a bit teary eyed after what she said, after all she was able to cope with it.

I just saw this too Aquilah! Sorry to hear of your loss. I'm glad your kids didn't seem to know what was going on. It's always hard when there is a death in the family. But, as others have said it might be an opportunity to explain life and death to them a bit. Hope you're feeling better and my thoughts are with you and your family!

Well, John's grandfather had been living in a nursing home since we moved here, and he didn't know who were really were from Day One. So, it's easier for us since a "real" relationship was never formed. I will miss (as sad as this might seem) going to the nursing home for Thanksgiving, and watching John help feed his grandfather. There's just something so touching about those moments between them, and I really can't explain it.


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