When do I tell DD?

(7 Posts)
fflonkl Thu 29-Sep-16 15:26:39

Hi, my mum passed away very unexpectedly and suddenly two days ago. I'm not from here, and am planning to go back to my own country with my two girls next week which involves a very long flight.

We recently went back for a month as I'm currently on maternity leave, and eldest DD (3) had a great time and loved spending time with her granny. She refers to my parents' house as granny's house since then.

The thing is, I'm going to have to tell her we're going back, and that we're going to granny's house. So she's going to think she's going to see granny (just last week she told me she was missing granny), but obviously she won't be.

So how do I handle this? Should I tell her that we're going to granny's house but that granny won't be there before the flight, or not mention anything about my mum until we get there? Her nursery have recommended some books to help her understand what's going on, but I really have no idea when I should tell her. The flight is very long - 13 hours, and I'll be doing it solo with her and the baby, so on the one hand I want to tell her beforehand so that she's prepared not to see granny, but on the other hand I don't want to tell her in case she gets all upset on the flight.

Sorry, rambling now. I'm just trying to do what's best for DD whilst making sure I keep it together for myself.

I personally would tell her before you get there, it might be more difficult once she's in the house and actively looking for her Granny.

I'm sorry for your loss flowers

LIZS Thu 29-Sep-16 15:37:07

Agree you need to prepare her for granny not being there in advance. It will be painful for you to have to cope with her not understanding and needing to reinforce it, let alone if she gets excited about seeing her again. Sorry for your loss.

Ditsy4 Thu 29-Sep-16 17:26:35

I would go to a good book shop and buy her one of the very good bereavement books for children. One of them is Badger's Parting Gifts which is a story of animals and very suitable for a three year old. That way you can lead into discussion about granny. Be warned it may make you cry but it is ok to let her see you sad.
I'm sorry for you but how wonderful that you had been there recently. It must have been lovely for your mum to have that time with you both. My mum died in another country and it is really hard. It would be helpful to your daughter to give her something of your mother's like a hanky with her perfume on or a keepsake from the house. It will connect her when she is older.

Haffdonga Thu 29-Sep-16 17:43:11

I'm sorry for your loss. thanks

Yes I agree you need to prepare your dd as much as possible, apart from anything else because you need to prepare her for seeing you getting upset. She will need to know that her mum crying is OK and not scarey but a normal reaction to such very sad news.

It would be awful if she believed she was going on a happy family holiday only to have such a sad shock when she arrived. It could even make her scared to travel in the future.

Tell her in as simple a way as possible that granny has died and that you are going back to granny's country to see the rest of the family and to remember granny. (It's best to avoid explaining a funeral as 'saying goodbye' because little children can assume this means granny will actually be there). Don't be surprised if she doesn't react in the way you would expect. She may not appear upset or she may be very curious about the factual side of death. It doesn't mean she isn't affected or sad.

flowers

fflonkl Thu 29-Sep-16 23:31:13

I hadn't considered preparing her to see me upset at all so thank you for pointing that out.

I guess I will definitely have to tell her before we go. Just this evening she told me she has two grandmas and I found it very hard to keep myself together.

Thank you all.

Ditsy4 Wed 05-Oct-16 22:54:19

So sorry for your loss.
It will catch you out sometimes in the future...it's normal.

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