to take 2.5 to funeral of grandad and what. if anything to tell her.

(15 Posts)
meganorks Sun 19-Jan-14 15:51:19

My dad died last week, with the funeral next week. I have been debating whether to take my 2.5 dd. My mum and siblings are all fine for her to come. And a friend of mine who is attending says she can help if needed. As it won't be a very long service (about 25 mins) I'm hoping we can keep her occupied. I think I would like her to come as there will be family there she hasn't met. And also lots of my dads friends who I haven't seen for many years who will remember me when I was that age.

What I am struggling with is what do we tell her? We don't live close to my parents so she doesn't know her grandad well so I don't think she will miss him not being there or really know what is going on. DP doesn't think we should really tell her anything other than explain what is happening on day (eg going to have to sit still and quiet for 20 mins but after going back to uncles for cake). but I am wondering if we need to explain more? Any tips? Just to add, MIL thinks she will be scared for life and no way we should take her!

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 19-Jan-14 15:57:27

I would just explain that you are going to say good bye to grandad and the behaviour you expect.

I think though that your MIL has a point. When my FIL died dp and I agreed to take dd to the "celebration of life" but not the funeral. We did this and it worked ok. The kids ran around and played first and last time I played tag in boots with heels

What I would say however that despite nothing being intended children at these things often become the "entertainment and cheer up crew"

No one intends anything but showing love but it's a recponsibility none the less if that makes sense.

It's a lot for children to cope with.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 19-Jan-14 15:59:56

Meant to say, sorry for your loss thanks

meganorks Sun 19-Jan-14 16:18:47

I think older children would have a harder time of it. But I feel she is young enough to not really know what's going on. I was planning on speaking at the funeral, so maybe that would be weird for her.

There won't really be any other young children aside from her baby sister. But she isn't really shy or uncomfortable around lots of grown ups. Recently went to a friends parents party and she would go and sit next to complete strangers no problem.

ilovemybabies123 Mon 20-Jan-14 07:19:00

I didn't take my 3 year old to my mum's funeral as everyone was so upset, didn't want her seeing the people she loved upset.

From An outsiders point of view, don't think a funeral is for meeting/reuniting. Don't think you should take her for that reason. Maybe that's for the wake? Don't think anyone will be interacting with her at a funeral. Jjust my opinion.

Sorry for your loss

I took my 2 1/2 year old and 5 month old to their grans funeral and it was fine. Took my son who was 4 on another occasion as he was off school. I think children are a focus in a good way and they are not aware of any responsibility to cheer folk up. I would say what someone else said- there to say goodbye, that there will be sad people there and to behave like x. Sorry for your loss.

Morgause Mon 20-Jan-14 07:29:26

Sorry for your loss.

My family is Welsh and children don't go to funerals, I prefer it that way. I wouldn't have wanted my DCs to see me in distress and not understand why. We don't go to funerals until our mid teens which is just about right for me.

thenicknameiwantedisgone Mon 20-Jan-14 07:41:59

You do need to explain that people are saying bye to grandad because he has gone to heaven (not sure if you believe that but it makes is slightly easier to explain to a child) and that people will be very upset because they won't see grandad again.

I think it's unfair to expect a child to see lots of upset people without a decent albeit simplistic explanation.

We took ds1 (3yo) and ds2 (2wks old) to DH's gran's funeral. Ds1 was very well behaved and didn't get it properly but would have been freaked by seeing lots of upset people without any warning. It was the first time even MIL had seen ds2 and to be honest I thought it was a shame for him that he was meeting all the family at a funeral, but I'd wanted to go as I like DH's gran and that was the way it had to be.

With my gran's funeral our DSs were around 5 and 8, and my cousins they were around 8 and 11. They came to both, mostly for logistical reasons as both were far away and we had no suitable way of not taking them. With my gran's it was quite hard for them to see so many people they knew well crying, their granny and grandad and me. Thankfully DH was not so upset and so could be in charge of them.

All the above said, I resented for years not going to my grandad's funeral. I was 11 at the time and deemed too young to go.

It's a tricky one but don't expect her not to notice what is going on. Funerals are one of the only places kids see grown ups upset and it can be quite shocking for them.

thenicknameiwantedisgone Mon 20-Jan-14 07:42:45

Sorry, all that long message and I forget the important bit. I am sorry for your loss and hope you are doing ok.

SparklyMonkeyMummy Mon 20-Jan-14 07:46:52

I took my 2.5 year old to my Gran's funeral last year. I felt it was very important for her to be there as she is part of the family. I was denied the chance to say goodbye to my Grandad as a child as this still is hard for me some days. She was impeccably behaved as I think she picked up on the atmosphere. Yes there were people crying there, including me, her aunts and her Gran (my mum), but to be honest we explained why and it's apart of life. I think hiding it away makes it scarier tbh. Good luck with what you decide.

harrietspy Mon 20-Jan-14 07:55:13

I didn't take my ds2 to my dad's funeral because I knew I wouldn't be able to concentrate on the funeral and I wanted to be able to give my full attention to being with my mum and dsis. We were all still in shock and I wanted to be there primarily as a daughter not a mum, if that makes sense. My older son came and was terribly upset but he was very close to his grandad and I think it was helpful to him in the long run to be there. (I also wasn't worried about ds1 running wild in the church either - a real possibility with ds2!)

Ds2 came to the foody bit afterwards and met all dad's old friends and relatives there.

Sorry for your loss. I hope all goes as well as it can.

hels71 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:57:53

I took DD to my gran's funeral when she was 2.1. I told her nothing specific. She knew who great gran was when we saw her, but that was not often. I just explained we were going to a service in a church when granddad (did the service) would be talking lots and she had to be quiet and play with her toys, then we had to go to a big hole in the ground outside where granddad would do lots more talking. Then we would go and have sandwiches with lots of other people in a pub.
I only explained she had died later once she was older. She was totally unfazed by the whole thing and has no memory of the funeral at all...(She is now 6)

Katkins1 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:31:22

I took my 6 year old to my Grand Father's funeral today. Myself and my Dad looked after her during the service, we went with a relative in the car to the cremation and most of the family interacted/talked to her during the wake. She was very close to him, and needed to be able to say goodbye. She is now in bed reading and looking at the order of service.

It was a long catholic funeral service, so we explained what to expect. She cried a bit at seeing the coffin, but apart from that, she wasn't unduly distressed. Seeing people upset is a part of life, and I think, helped her to know that its perfectly fine to grieve.

Katkins1 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:33:12

I took my 6 year old to my Grand Father's funeral today. Myself and my Dad looked after her during the service, we went with a relative in the car to the cremation and most of the family interacted/talked to her during the wake. She was very close to him, and needed to be able to say goodbye. She is now in bed reading and looking at the order of service.

It was a long catholic funeral service, so we explained what to expect. She cried a bit at seeing the coffin, but apart from that, she wasn't unduly distressed. Seeing people upset is a part of life, and I think, helped her to know that its perfectly fine to grieve.

meganorks Sat 25-Jan-14 20:24:37

Thanks for all the replies. Taking her just to the wake would be the ideal solution, but unfortunately isn't possible. I live a couple of hours from my parents and everyone I could leave her with will be at the funeral. So she either comes with or stays behind.

We have decided in the end not to take her. She is a bit of a runner sometimes so I wouldn't want that happening. Ans DP is worried that she will pick up on more than we realise. She also might find it weird it want to come with me when I speak. I've been down a few times over the last few weeks and haven't taken her with me because it is easier not to. So this seems like a bad time to go against that.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now