Talk

Advanced search

To think children don't need to know about death of distant relatives

(14 Posts)
MsColouring Wed 08-Jul-15 20:58:43

Dp's aunt died yesterday of cancer. Dp is gutted.

His ex phoned earlier asking why he hadn't phoned her about it (she only met her once). She then said she would tell dss about it. Dss never met her.

AIBU to think children don't need to be burdened with knowing about the deaths of relatives they have never met. And if DP wanted dss to know that is his job.

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Wed 08-Jul-15 21:13:35

It's not something that needs to be kept from them either. It's good for children to know people die, its part of life.

fredfredgeorgejnr Wed 08-Jul-15 21:20:24

If they've never met them, how is it a burden? Understanding why their father was upset is surely lessens the burden on a child than the death of someone they never knew?

OttiliaVonBCup Wed 08-Jul-15 21:23:38

If they are distant then surely the children won't be affected too badly.

It might be a good opportunity to discuss death with them.

Minisoksmakehardwork Wed 08-Jul-15 21:23:47

Tbh, I think dss needs to know as "dp is gutted". His dad is grieving and it is only fair that dss knows his dad may be sad for a while because his aunt has died. Just because he never met his great aunt doesn't mean he shouldn't have some understanding and be taught how to show compassion towards his father at this difficult time.

Backforthis Wed 08-Jul-15 21:26:16

Death is part of life. Why wouldn't you tell them confused

Sammasati Wed 08-Jul-15 21:26:49

Totally agree with mini

Optimist1 Wed 08-Jul-15 21:29:09

This type of death (i.e. the deceased wasn't a big part in a child's life) is an ideal "starter" IMHO. It can be mentioned in terms of the advanced age or illness of the deceased and reference can be made to Daddy being sad. Questions might be forthcoming, in which case short, factual answers in keeping with your Faith - or lack thereof - are fine.

GizzyTiedToATree Wed 08-Jul-15 21:30:23

When my aunt's husband died I talked about it with my DCs. They had only met him a couple of times.
It was a very good opportunity to discuss death with them. It didn't "burden" them at all.

IEatBadgers Wed 08-Jul-15 21:32:00

I've told my kids when relatives they don't know have died, like dhs aunt and uncle died recently. They haven't lost anyone close to them yet and I saw discussing this as a kind of gentle introduction to the subject of death.

IrenetheQuaint Wed 08-Jul-15 21:35:41

I'd tell him - presumably the aunt is a sibling of his grandparents? It's important to get a sense of family structure and relationships.

ohtheholidays Thu 09-Jul-15 09:36:14

I'm surprised that you would call an aunt a distant relative?

Myself,DH and all 5 of our DC are really close to all my aunties and uncles,DH is close to his Aunties and Uncles.

I'm also very close to my Nephews and Nieces and all of they're children.

crapfatbanana Thu 09-Jul-15 09:39:23

'Dad's feeling sad because his aunt, who had been very ill, has died.'

It's not burdening the children, just giving an explanation why dad might not seem his usual cheery self.

namechangeforphotos Thu 09-Jul-15 09:51:54

As others have posted, yes its an opportunity to discuss people getting old or ill, and dying. It is a fact of life and I'm not sure why you'd want to hide it. How old is is DSS, sorry I haven't seen the age posted? Its also fine for your DH to openly show he is sad about it.

When older relatives have died we have always told the DC, even if they've only met them a handful of times, usually because it has resulted in one or the other of us needing to be away from home for funerals, seeing other family and sorting out the business that follows a death. Our DC have usually been told, ask a few questions, then they just move on and carry on as normal. Occasionally a question will pop up, and they'll ask how old aunt so and so was when she died, why did she die etc. And we just answer honestly, and move on.

You don't want the first they hear of someone dying, to be someone really close to them, ideally. I guess for some sensitive children it could set off a chain reaction of worrying about death, constant questions, worrying they may die, or mum will die and so on, but most of the children I've known have handled it well and don't fret about it.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now