Would you take a 5 yr old to a funeral?

(47 Posts)
TrollTheRespawnJeremy Fri 20-Mar-15 23:24:15

... Just that really... I am not sure if a 5 year old would be expected to go or not. (Great grandparent.)

They were quite close etc but I have (luckily) never been to a funeral so don't know what the norm is for children.

What would you do?

LovesYoungDream Fri 20-Mar-15 23:29:12

I wouldn't, I think 5 is too young imo

ArcheryAnnie Fri 20-Mar-15 23:35:05

Depends what the 5yr old is like. I took mine to one, but he was pretty good at sitting quietly by then. If your 5 yr old isn't going to disturb anyone else, I don't see why not.

JumpJockey Fri 20-Mar-15 23:39:20

Sorry you've lost your grandparent. We took a 4 yr old and 6 yr old DD to my uncle's funeral which was a 45 minute requiem mass. If they're used to sitting still for a while (for ours it was going to church, or if your 5yr old can sit still watching a film) that's less of a worry than understanding why mummy/daddy is upset, or why there's a big box up at the front. The DDs still talk about it (last summer) as afterwards they got to see lots of their cousins, and it was a lovely family event. For an old relative and an expected death, it's often easier than someone who has died young or unexpectedly.

snuffykins Fri 20-Mar-15 23:39:49

Yes. But im Irish and live in Ireland, it's normal here.

BackforGood Fri 20-Mar-15 23:45:02

No.
However, on MN it seems a lot of people do take young dc to a funeral.
In RL, I've been to dozens and dozens and dozens of funerals (so obviously, lots and lots of different families) and it's very, very, very rare to see any dc below secondary age at them.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Fri 20-Mar-15 23:46:10

She can sit still but there will be no other children (only grandchild etc) so not sure if she'll be welcome (?) but then because shes the only one then theres more pressure for her to be there...and it seems crass to ask.

I was hoping itd be an obvious yes/no etiquette question. Obviously isnt a cut and dried decision.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 20-Mar-15 23:51:48

I'm sorry for your loss OP.thanks

I'm from a background where it is common and I would. I took DS to my aunt's funeral when he was almost 3. They too were close. I think that it was good for him. She didn't disappear, he said goodbye, and he understood that his family weren't sad because of him IYSWIM.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 20-Mar-15 23:56:16

X posted. OP, please do not feel pressured to make your decision based on etiquette. Make it based on what's right for you and your DD.

MissBattleaxe Sat 21-Mar-15 00:01:08

Sorry for your loss. I have been to far too many funerals. I would definitely not take a 5 year old. Some countries, cultures and families do and its normal, but I personally wouldn't.

You may end up seeing lots of people crying, or explaining death and coffins to a child who lives in the moment and may not have got there emotionally yet. Some people don't feel like having children around at such a sombre or personal occasion.

On the other hand some people regard it as an inclusive family occasion and take children. Neither way is wrong, but I prefer to leave the kids at home.

BackforGood Sat 21-Mar-15 00:05:40

Ask your parents (or in-laws) or whoever is making the arrangements.

If it's all local, then having someone look after the dc for the service, then bringing them along to the 'tea' afterwards is fairly common - that way they aren't disturbing people at the service / distracting you from your mourning / being upset or unsettled by seeing their parents very upset , but, when people relax afterwards and start to share fond memories, and generally catch up with family news, then your dc being there might be rather nice.
However I would certainly ask the 'hosts' as it's something that people have different opinions about.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Sat 21-Mar-15 00:06:53

We watched the 'Book of Life' together and so she knows about the 'land of the remembered'.

We aren't religious at all so I thought it was the easiest route as I like that 'the people live on so long as they are remembered.'

I'm not sure if her being there will make it easier for the rest of our family. I am literally over thinking every possible avenue to try and pre-empt any upset.

I think no matter what I do I will probably think I've done the wrong thing.

BuyMeAPony Sat 21-Mar-15 00:06:57

I wouldn't. More that it might be upsetting for your DD to see others upset. However if you can arrange to bring her to the wake that might be nice.

On the other hand, I went to a cremation last week and there were two babies there. It was quite uplifting when they gurgled and chatted.

I'd ask whoever would be saddest about the loss or whoever is organising the funeral what they would prefer you to do.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 21-Mar-15 00:09:17

What would you like to do OP?

bonkersLFDT20 Sat 21-Mar-15 00:10:03

Yes I would.

BathtimeFunkster Sat 21-Mar-15 00:10:47

If it was a great grandparent she was close to, I would bring her.

She can say goodbye. She's old enough to remember the occasion, possibly for the rest of her life.

As a direct descendant of the deceased, I would presume she had every business being there if that's what her parents chose.

Sorry for your loss flowers

IME the funerals of people old enough to have great grandchildren tend to be sad events that are also the celebration of a long life.

GiddyOnZackHunt Sat 21-Mar-15 00:12:23

It really depends on your options and then how you'll be. If you have easy childcare for the funeral then use it. If you have no childcare then take them.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Sat 21-Mar-15 00:13:32

What I would like to do is sit through the whole thing and judge the service/mood of the attendants etc and then rewind the clock and decide whether its suitable for Dd or not!

I think I might be onto plums there though.

Going to see MIL tomorrow so will see how she's bearing up and see what she thinks.

I went to one at 3. I started asking for sandwiches Halfway through but apparently it lightened the mood and my parents don't regret letting me be there. I think its all about the individual child, the circumstances etc.

Canyouforgiveher Sat 21-Mar-15 00:13:37

Sorry for your loss.

I think it somewhat depends on your culture and background-what is the norm for you. My youngest was not quite 6 when my dad died. They all went to the funeral, including saying goodbye to him when he was laid out in an open coffin. My lovely MIL stayed with them throughout so I didn't have to worry about them.

They did the same when my mum died although youngest was 10 then and they saw her when she was dying, dead and laid out. Kissed her at every stage, said goodbye, cried with us, read prayers at the church, had a lovely time with friends and family after the funeral.

Those two funerals are very important moments in our family. but not every family is like that. I am from a culture/background where funerals matter and children are included. My children probably were fine with everything because they took their cues from me and the rest of the family.

If you do bring her I would have someone besides yourself there to mind her/take her away if it seems right etc.

BathtimeFunkster Sat 21-Mar-15 00:19:28

That's a good post by canyou.

It sounds like you are trying to make this decision for your DH's grandparent's funeral, which is trickier.

What does he think?

MissBattleaxe Sat 21-Mar-15 00:21:56

I am from a culture/background where funerals matter and children are included

I think funerals matter whether or not children are included.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Sat 21-Mar-15 00:26:41

He's awfully upset to be honest so I haven't really discussed it with him.

Having not ever been to a funeral either I am not very sure what to expect. They're not hugely religious, nor catholic.

I think if there's an open coffin then dd can sit it out. She got a bit of a shock when she saw her ill and its not how I'd want her to remember her.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 21-Mar-15 00:27:04

I wouldn't in this instance tbh, because they are gr grandparents to the child.

For me it's too young, but some people will disagree.

Ours were older 13 and 16 and attended their gps funeral, dd was 3 and didn't go.

Canyouforgiveher Sat 21-Mar-15 00:39:06

I think funerals matter whether or not children are included.

I didn't say funerals matter only if children are included. Where I grew up funerals matter. and as a separate thing children are included.

Everywhere I have been in the world, deaths matter but the importance of funerals vary from place to place

Some cultures place more emphasis on them than others. When I moved to the US, the mother of our CEO died. I couldn't understand how the senior staff at my firm were in the office the day of the funeral and not actually attending the funeral. there is no way that would have happened where I grew up. but it was entirely acceptable where I now lived. I have seen threads here about funerals in the UK which are incomprehensible to the funeral norms I have because of how I was raised (basically you always go to the funeral).

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