Tomorrow is the funeral of one of my classmates at university, she tragically died in a car accident. She was an only child. I have been desperately sad for the loss of such a young life.
As it's a weekend, childcare is tricky. I was considering missing the funeral and attending the wake only as I think it would be inappropriate to take DD to the funeral as she is only 2 and would get loud and fidgety - and then it suddenly struck me how painful it might be for her parents to see a child running around at the wake in any case so should I just stay away? The only issue is I don't want her parents, my tutors and classmates to think I don't care. I know at an elderly relatives wake everyone was so happy to see children, but I think this is very different, right?
I'm leaning towards the not going at the moment. I've signed a memorial book so her parents will have something from me.
It's more the being present and showing that actually I do care that I'm worried about. But i'm sat here thinking about it and it just makes me crumble. They will never be able to escape this pain that i am for one moment trying to imagine and being completely overwhelmed by.
My darling boy died in August aged 21 and there were several children at his funeral, including an almost 2 year old who he'd been particularly fond of. The little one didn't make a fuss and I loved his little noises and somehow found it comforting and life-affirming. (I know his parents would have taken him out if he'd yelled or been disruptive). There were several other young children there and that seemed just right. They also came to the wake afterwards (a lovely big tea-party). To me the funeral wasn't to be a sterile lifeless service but we wanted it to be as beautiful and lovely a celebration as we could..... and that meant having children. Take your DD but sit somewhere so you can easily take her out if it's going to be disruptive. Make sure you speak to the parents and say you couldn't get childcare but wanted to come and show your support. (Sorry if that's a bit "teach your grandmother to suck eggs" but I remember how very glad I was to see Paddy's friends. Good luck.
I have been to several funerals recently, and at each of them there were young children and babies present. At no time did I feel it was inappropriate or that they shouldn't be there - having said that I was a mourner and not a relative or close friend - and I'm sure that if you are tactful, as Lily says then it will be fine to take your daughter. Just be prepared to beat a retreat should you feel she is distracting people. In fact, at the last one I went to, there was a babe in arms whose parents stood right at the back by the door and slipped out at the first sign of disturbance.
At the wake, having younger children around quite frequently helps, it gives people something to focus on. Is there any chance you could find out in advance if children would be ok? I would imagine there are likely to be others present bearing in mind the age of your friend.
I'm sorry for your loss, it's very hard (understatement) when someone is taken so young.