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DD1's friend Mom death

(106 Posts)
huha Tue 16-Jan-18 06:31:22

DD1's (9) best friends Mom sadly passed away in the early hours Sunday. Her friend iMessaged her a video telling her of her moms passing and hysterically crying (it's so sad and awful). DD is trying her best to be "there" for her. They FaceTime and text most nights (both have iPads no judgement please!) and today friend was saying she felt bad and missed her mom 😢
DD asked what we could do and I explained that sometimes people make food so we could do that and friend can come over anytime she wants and to just let us know (told her dad the same). Dd helped me make a lasagna to deliver to them tomorrow this evening.
DH and I also explained that she may want to go to the funeral but dd said no way so I've left it for now.
Do I push the funeral idea? What else can we do to support? What can I say to dd in terms of how she can support her friend?

LittleMissNaice Tue 16-Jan-18 06:38:23

Ooo that’s a heck of a burden for a 9 year old. I think your dd sounds lovely op, but I’d probably be letting her know that her friend will have lots of people around her who are there for support and it’s not her job to make this better for her friend.

I think doing things for them like the lasagne is great, as it lets your dd express her feelings and caring, I just wouldn’t want her to feel at all responsible for her friend.

CrookBook Tue 16-Jan-18 06:39:49

This happened to dd2s friend. They were younger, so different but i think just being a good friend. Patience

CheapSausagesAndSpam Tue 16-Jan-18 06:39:55

No don't push the funeral idea. Tell DD that her friend may change, may not be quite the same as she was before and sometimes, children who've been bereaved can be difficult to be around but not all children go through that.

Winston's Wish is an excellent source of advice and support.

You may want to pass that on to the Dad when he's a bit better.

BikeRunSki Tue 16-Jan-18 07:03:41

I’m so sorry. Ds(also 9) best friend’s mum died in the autumn. She was also a very good friend of mine. I didn’t take him to the funeral, which I really regret. Not for the funeral itself, where his best friend was with his dad and sister, but afterwards at the wake. His sister had girl cousins her own age for company, his dad had his own grief and many of his friends and family around, but the poor wee boy had no one his own age for company.

I didn’t take DS, because when I mentioned it to the headteacher in connection with something else, she said “I don’t that is a very good idea, there will be quite enough people missing from that class that afternoon anyway”. I wish i’d been stronger. I am slightly haunted by seeing that boy sitting at a table by himself, shrugging off the advances from well meaning aunts. He really could have done with someone to talk about star wars/Harry Potter/fantasy world of the moment for a bit of respite for a few minutes.

Gladiola44 Tue 16-Jan-18 07:04:08

Yes, I think she should go to the funeral to show support to her friend. The friend will really notice if she comes and it will bring comfort. Maybe have a chat to her and tell her that just being there is a kind gesture and something we do do for friends. Perhaps send some flowers to the funeral directors as well and write a card.

The little gestures do go a long way. Poor thing.

CheapSausagesAndSpam Tue 16-Jan-18 07:08:59

Bike how insensitive! If that HT had had an ounce of soul, she would have suggested that the teacher spend the afternoon discussing loss with the children.

Easily done in an age appropriate way.

Or even in making a big joint card for the little boy. sad

huha Tue 16-Jan-18 07:11:18

I am inclined to discuss the funeral more. Her reservation about going is that the last funeral she went to was extremely long (Sikh) funeral whereas this will be a (much shorter) Catholic funeral. Perhaps if not the actual funeral then the wake; it's a week away so I have some time to discuss and think about it with DD. I absolutely will not make her go though.

Phillipa12 Tue 16-Jan-18 07:12:24

I would compromise on the funeral and take her to the wake, as a pp said she will be with her dad at the funeral but the wake?? At my dd funeral my ds aged 5 was with the family but at the wake his headteacher had allowed his class to attend if they wanted, its the one nice thing that i still remember about that awful day, my ds running around the pub garden with all his friends and whats nicer is that all his friends still remember and comment on how good Pippas party was.

huha Tue 16-Jan-18 07:13:59

@Phillipa12 I am so sorry for your loss. thanks

AhAgain Tue 16-Jan-18 07:17:38

This happened to DS’s (8) best friend about a month ago. Food is good, we did food.

The best thing you/DD can do is bring there and listening. The child needs to grieve, but they also need normality (well what can be normal..) - friends, school, doing what they used to do. To build a new normal.

Arrange a play date? If you normally do things with the friend - park, cinema etc - then carry on inviting. You may get turned down, but you might be surprised.

I wouldn’t push the funeral. Explain it, explain why it would be good, but don’t make her go.

SofiaAmes Tue 16-Jan-18 07:20:39

If you are not catholic, I would not encourage your dd to go to a catholic funeral. My good friend died a few years ago and she was catholic and so was her funeral and as a non-catholic I found it truly disturbing.

KayaG Tue 16-Jan-18 07:34:02

I agree with Sofia. Catholic funerals are very disturbing.

Fatbergs Tue 16-Jan-18 07:43:12

What's so scary about Catholic funerals,? Ooh what does the scary priest do?
You two are so ignorant.

ButtPlugInMyHalloweenHaul Tue 16-Jan-18 07:46:35

I wouldn't let her go. I went to the funeral of a school friend killed on his bike when we were all nine. I was upset for weeks after. I'm old now but I can still see the tiny coffin and the flowers in the shape of a football and feel mild panic set in. It was 1971

Virginiaplain1 Tue 16-Jan-18 07:47:10

May I ask what you found disturbing about a Catholic funeral?
I have been to many funerals of all types and found nothing particularly disturbing at the Catholic ceremonies. Much like all other funerals they offered the family and friends an opportunity to grieve the loss of a loved one and to celebrate their life.

ruddynorah Tue 16-Jan-18 07:49:25

Aged 9 I went to my mum's Catholic funeral. It was beautiful. Same several years later for each of my grandparents. My dd aged 4 came to my grandma's funeral and was fine. At school a week r so later they were drawing their favourite things, she drew her great grandma's coffin covered in lillies. I still have that drawing stuck on the fridge now she's 11.

JackieReacher Tue 16-Jan-18 07:50:33

When my father died, school friends wrote me letters and a handful came to the funeral which to his day decades later I remain grateful for. I was a little older but not much.

chockaholic72 Tue 16-Jan-18 07:50:54

It depends - it may be just a funeral service in a Catholic Church, or it may be a requiem mass - I'm catholic and have been to both. The only difference between them is the requiem one has a mass with communion attached, and specific prayers to pray for the person who has died. There's a tiny bit of insense swinging, and a bit of holy water flicked around, but that's it - otherwise it's no different to a service held in any other Christian church.

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Tue 16-Jan-18 07:56:14

Disturbing? I can't think of anything disturbing about a Catholic funeral.

Situp Tue 16-Jan-18 07:57:25

Remember OP that at this stage she will be surrounded by support. It is really in the weeks and months to come that both she and her dad will need your support.

I think just doing the wake is a good idea. Although she wants to support her friend, your priority has to be your DD's welfare.

A good friend of mine died in 2016 leaving 3 children under 10. Their school friends all tied white ribbons to the railings outside their house which meant so much to them.

I second the Winston's wish recommendation. They do lovely memory boxes which are inexpensive and could make a lovely practical gift from your DD.

whiskyowl Tue 16-Jan-18 08:06:33

I think your instincts are good OP - I'd be pushing discussion of the funeral more, too, and the fact that attending is about supporting other people and not about the ceremony itself (I was very confused about this as a child). It's natural for a girl of that age to be frightened of the unknown, particularly when it involves so much sadness, but talking her through it and telling her what to expect might change her mind.

Brokenbiscuit Tue 16-Jan-18 08:06:39

I agree with Sofia. Catholic funerals are very disturbing.

As a non-Catholic, I have been to several Catholic funerals, including my grandfather's. None of them have been remotely disturbing and actually, I derived great comfort from my grandfather's funeral, which was warm, beautiful and celebratory.

OP, one of my friends passed away last year, leaving a little girl of around the same age. It's heartbreaking. sad

I think all you can do is be there to offer support, both to the child and to her family. Let her talk about her mum if she wants to, but let her talk about other stuff if she prefers. Practical stuff like cooking will definitely help the poor dad, who will no doubt be struggling with his own grief as well as that of his children. Does he need help with other stuff as well? The school run, for example? Getting children to after school activities? Costumes or other bits and bobs that the kids need for school?

I don't think you should force the issue of the funeral but no harm to revisit the subject. It might well help the child to have some friends with her for support, though people do tend to get very distressed at funerals for people who have died "too young" and your dd might find that distressing.

Shimmershimmerandshine Tue 16-Jan-18 08:10:49

Yes, I think she should go to the funeral to show support to her friend.

She is 9 years old,...! If it was my dd's best friend I would go to the funeral to show support, however.

Definitely lots of play dates, that shows a 9yo how much you care I think.

KayaG Tue 16-Jan-18 08:12:20

What's so scary about Catholic funerals,? Ooh what does the scary priest do?

You two are so ignorant.

How rude are you?

You don't get to tell me what I can and cannot find disturbing. I went to a funeral mass for a friend and I did find it very disturbing. You don't like that? Tough.

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