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To take dcs to a funeral?

(121 Posts)
Edenviolet Mon 22-Dec-14 21:43:01

My dcs are 13,7,5 and 2

Dgm passed away yesterday and today it was mentioned to me by two people (db and a family friend) that I shouldn't even be considering taking my dcs. According to one "funerals are no place for children" and the other said "I hope you aren't going to take the children"???

When my grandad passed away years ago dd1 was four and she went and was fine. I don't think the dcs will overly upset and of course if either of the younger two made any noise dh could take them outside.

I honestly didn't even think it would be an issue until today I just assumed we would all go?
AIBU to want to take them I've never come across the opinion before that dcs shouldn't go to funerals

Middleagedmotheroftwo Mon 22-Dec-14 21:44:52

I would take the older two, but not the two year old, who is unlikely to be able to sit still or appreciate the solemnity of the event.

SunnaClausIsComingToTown Mon 22-Dec-14 21:45:58

In our family children don't go to funerals. I wasn't allowed until I was 16.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Mon 22-Dec-14 21:46:22

I think the oldest 3 will be fine. But the 2 year will not understand.

The rest are of school age in which they know to be quiet during assembly and always listen to the chosen speaker.

I am so sorry for your loss, its hard at any time but at Christmas it seem even more harder.

Sirzy Mon 22-Dec-14 21:48:34

I would let the 13 year old (and quite possibly the 7 year old) decide for themselves if they want to go or not.

I would only take the younger two if you had someone who was free to take them out if they got bored/created a fuss.

Edenviolet Mon 22-Dec-14 21:48:49

Its 3+ hours away by car so I suppose dh could sit outside with ds2 or find a nearby park but it seems a shame as he wanted to attend with us all, I was very close to Dgm and dd1 really wants to read a poem at the service.

I'm not sure how ds2 will be,he's usually quite good but obviously it'll be an unfamiliar place etc so perhaps dh could have him instead. I just hadn't even considered that dcs shouldn't attend

MinceSpy Mon 22-Dec-14 21:51:21

If you and DH want them to be there then fine let them attend. Sorry for your loss.

SocialMediaAddict Mon 22-Dec-14 21:51:22

My 12 and 9 year olds came to my grandmothers funeral in November. They were fine.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Mon 22-Dec-14 21:51:22

I think it is important for children to go to funerals.

My mother wasn't allowed to go to the funerals of her 3 brother. They all had muscular dystrophy and Died all before my mum was 13. To this day she is still hurt that she didn't get to say goodbye.

WorraLiberty Mon 22-Dec-14 21:52:19

This subject seems to divide Mumsnet a bit

You know your children and therefore how they're likely to cope/what the plan B is if they get upset.

I'm ok with children at funerals but then again, I was brought up in an Irish family where the body would have laid in an open coffin in the front room of the house.

Sorry for your loss, OP thanks

Middleagedmotheroftwo Mon 22-Dec-14 21:53:56

Isn't it possible to leave the 2 yo and possibly the 5yo with someone for the day?

amicissimma Mon 22-Dec-14 21:54:56

Death is part of life. No point in pretending it isn't. I think it's much easier to introduce 'difficult' things to children naturally, as they occur.

I'm assuming you'd take a child outside quicksmart if s/he started to disturb proceedings. Funerals aren't usually very long, anyway, unless it's a full-blown mass.

Edenviolet Mon 22-Dec-14 21:57:47

I just remember my grandma saying after my grandads funeral how she wouldn't have coped if dd1 hadn't been there. She had been beside herself and terrified of speaking but said she focused on dd1s little face and it made it all so much easier.

She adored the dcs, even today a parcel arrived with Christmas duvet covers for the dcs and a box of chocolates for me sad that she must have posted just before being taken ill and I think she would have wanted them there as she was always thinking of them.

I was just surprised at the reaction from db etc.

Edenviolet Mon 22-Dec-14 22:00:39

Nobody will have dd2 and ds2 due to their young age and medical problems, dh would be driving us there anyway sohe could look after one or both of the if needed but I think dd2 really wants to go as she loved her Dgm (they are both diabetic so she spoke about her a lot and had a lot of questions for me today about death and funerals etc) she is very well behaved so would be good and quiet.

familygermsareok Mon 22-Dec-14 22:02:59

I'm sorry for your loss, it's a horrible time.
I don't think there is anything wrong in children attending funerals if they are old enough to appreciate what it is all about and behave appropriately. I would expect your two oldest to be fine, possibly the 5 year old. Not convinced about 2 year old, is there a friend you could leave them with for the day?
Our DCs went to grandparents funerals aged 9 and 7 and again aged 11 and 9 and found it a way of understanding and connecting with the sadness but also celebrating the life and natural order of things.
My DM died when they were only 4 and 2. Neither would have been able to understand the enormity of death and what was going on. I left them with a close friend for the day as the funeral was several hours drive away.
You know your family best. There are no hard and fast rules IMO.
flowers

HenriettaTurkey Mon 22-Dec-14 22:04:05

I agree that death is a part of life. My DGM died when DS was 18 months old. I was reading at the service and really wanted DH and DS there for support.

A good friend of my mum came to the service with us, and took DS for a walk in his pram when it became a bit much for him. Would similar be possible?

DS was a great source of comfort for my dgm when she was in a care home, and I know she would have loved to have seen him there.

For me the 'tricky age' would be 5-10 when they understand more, but perhaps not quite enough.

KatieKaye Mon 22-Dec-14 22:04:58

First of all, I'm sorry for your loss.

This is a difficult one in the abstract. the things I'd be considering would be

Will the DC will be able to sit quietly during the service?
Are they familiar with church services or will the strangeness cause the little ones to be chattering away?
How will they react if they see you or other close relatives obviously very upset?
Do they understand what is going to happen and do they want to go?

Only you can decide how the whole experience will affect them and how they are likely to react to it. there aren't any absolute rights or wrongs in this situation - only what the best thing is for the individual members of your family. If one DC did not want to go, then I'd respect that decision just as much as I'd respect the decision for them all to go.

If you do decide that not all the DC should go, then you could consider asking a friend to look after the younger DC during the service and then bring them along to the funeral tea afterwards.

HenriettaTurkey Mon 22-Dec-14 22:05:29

Also, hedgehog, given your grandma's comments it seems as though she really would've wanted them there...if they want to be there. It sounds unexpected. I'm so sorry for your loss.

MrsCurrent Mon 22-Dec-14 22:07:56

So sorry to hear of your loss. You know your children and how the funeral will be. It was my best friend's funeral today, we left the children at home as I was a mess and in that case it wouldn't have been fair on them, had it been a grandparent (not young person who should still be here) I would have taken them. My godson (bf's little boy) was there with his cousins, he is 4, they are 10 and 7, they were ok (7yo girl was very upset). Little man was a star, but then he ran up to his daddy while I was sat with him at the wake and asked whose birthday party it was again. Your children, your choice, it will be upsetting but death is something they will have to understand anyway.

familygermsareok Mon 22-Dec-14 22:08:48

Sorry, cross posted, I see no one would be able to look after younger ones, and how close their relationship was with your Dgm. If you feel it is right to take them then it is, presuming your DH could take them outside if they were interrupting an important part of the service.

eveylikesv Mon 22-Dec-14 22:09:02

Yabu, funerals are not for small children. They won't understand what is going on, will see a lot of their relatives visibly distressed and the very young ones simply won't sit through it. I left my 2 year old home with dp for my mum's funeral and meal afterwards it wouldn't cross my mind to take him with me. Three years ago at my gran's funeral my cousin brought her ds with her (around 2 at the time), he screamed/ shouted/ laughed for 80% of the service. The dad would take him out every now and then but all of it just added to the stress of other family members. Funerals are to show respect to the deceased and their close family, it was already mentioned by couple of people to not take children, so it would be polite to respect their wishes.

Edenviolet Mon 22-Dec-14 22:09:04

Dd1 asked exactly what will happen and asked to read a poem

Ds1 is very religious (not sure why as we are not particularly) and has cherished the letter Dgm wrote to him in nov after his pet died all about life and death, sorrow,grief and how life carries on and he wants to go as loves churches.

Dd2 doesn't understand any more than Dgm got very ill and is no longer here but we have to say goodbye to her and she seems fine about it but like others have said perhaps for a 2 y o it willbe overwhelming as its a long journey, a big church and a lot of unfamiliar faces.

londonrach Mon 22-Dec-14 22:09:05

Really sorry for your loss. Only you know your children and if its right for them. Xxxxx

mytartanscarf Mon 22-Dec-14 22:09:56

My childhood was spent attending funerals of various grandparents, great aunts and uncles and then my mother's.

I find it strange (personally) that a child wouldn't attend the funeral of a close family member (babies aside.)

Clayhead Mon 22-Dec-14 22:17:43

Mine have been to funerals at various ages; they have seen us all upset and then recovering from the upset, that's part of life.

Only thing I wouldn't have had is them making loads of noise but they never have so I've been lucky on that score.

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