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In thinking ds is too young for a funeral?

(79 Posts)
MrsCobain Wed 22-Mar-17 18:23:02

Dh's Granny is about to pass away and a couple of the family have made comments about how they expect ds to go.

I'm all for children having healthy relationships and expectations of death and not being lied to etc but I just think 3.5 is too young. Add to that the fact that he is an extremely full on and energetic kid and the trip there will have meant spending 5 hours in the car and I think it's a recipe for disaster.

Dh thinks I should take him but will respect my decision if I put my foot down and say no. Mil and fil will be annoyed if ds doesn't go. Wwyd?

IamFriedSpam Wed 22-Mar-17 18:25:26

I would definitely take him to the funeral in general but you can always keep him out of the actual service if you don't think he's old enough to understand.

Boiled7Up Wed 22-Mar-17 18:26:45

In my (Irish Catholic) family, children were absolutely expected to go. However, these children attended Mass regularly and generally understood that their behaviour had to be wonderful.

I have been to funerals where the grandchildren have come to the wake, not the service. Is that a possibility?

Mummysh0rtlegs Wed 22-Mar-17 18:27:08

I have taken one of my sons, but he was 10 months so just walking and totally unaware. I would not take my 3 year old unless it was a very close relative and it was easyish to get to etc.

Whatsername17 Wed 22-Mar-17 18:27:29

I wouldn't take him. He won't understand, he will just see everyone he knows and love crying and not understand why.

KP86 Wed 22-Mar-17 18:28:10

If you don't think he would cope and be able to behave 'appropriately' for the funeral I wouldn't take him. I have a 2.11yo and no way would I take him to a funeral. He wouldn't be able to sit during the service and wouldn't understand how important it was to be quiet and listen. Like yours, he is a bundle of energy and I wouldn't be able to pay my own respects either.

Perhaps if the wake was less formal and we had someone to look after him during the service I would consider having him at the wake.

LanaKanesLeftNippleTassle Wed 22-Mar-17 18:30:51

Hmmm, it's a difficult one.
I think it depends on the circs and the family tbh.

A very good friend of mine died v young last year.
I wasn't going to take DS, but couldn't then go as no childcare but when I mentioned this to the bereaved parents they were sad that having to have a 4 yr old with me would stop me from attending and asked me to take him.

It was a very "young" non traditional funeral anyway, and the wake was more of a rave (exactly what my friend would have wanted)so it eneded up being fine.
It was more celebration of life, than wake IYSWIM.

DS was good, and there were so many close friends there who love DS aanyway, there was always some one to take him for a bit.
Plus there were other children there, including the 6yr old daughter of my friend sad

THe parents of my friend said it was nice to have kids there.

BUT, my DS understands death in an age appropiate way, and is not affected by seeing other people upset and crying, he knows it normal to be sad and that that is ok.

Only you can really know if your child can cope with it, and whether an occasionally loud child would upset lots of people. Everyone is different.

HazelBite Wed 22-Mar-17 18:31:00

I think the very fact that he is "full on" is reason enough for him not to go. After 5 hours in a car he will be raring to go!
Personally I think also it depends on how close a relationship your DS had with his GtGrandparent. Have your in-laws or DH said why they feel he should go?

BrownAjah Wed 22-Mar-17 18:32:10

My Grandad died when DS1 was 3 and DS2 was just under 1. I went to the service and DH brought the kids to the wake afterwards. I wasn't so much worried about behaviour (Irish family here too so kids very much accepted!) but I was worried DS1 would be upset seeing me upset. All worked out well

MrsCobain Wed 22-Mar-17 18:34:34

It's going to be extremely formal and that side of dh's family are very serious and religious.

I'm not entirely sure about the wake or if there will be one, she was a Christian scientist.

I do know it'll probably be open casket as we are in the States. I'm remember seeing my Great Gran in the funeral home and it fucking me up for a long time, I was way too young or it was handled wrong. I was about 10 though.

Yogagirl123 Wed 22-Mar-17 18:35:37

My children didn't attend any family funeral services until they were old enough to decide for themselves around 12 years of age, and I still gave the youngest child the option to change his mind even on the morning of the service. I would not have considered them attending a funeral any earlier regardless of what other family members opinions were.

MrsCobain Wed 22-Mar-17 18:36:07

He only ever saw her once when he was a baby. He has no idea who she is.

LanaKanesLeftNippleTassle Wed 22-Mar-17 18:36:17

Ah, in those specific circs then it's a definite no from me, I wouldn't.

Strict religious family and open casket are the things that make it a no to me.

Too young for all that.

Mari50 Wed 22-Mar-17 18:36:39

Does this mean that you won't go as well? Or will you be leaving him at home with family while you and dh make the 5 hour trip? That's probably relevant.

MrsCobain Wed 22-Mar-17 18:37:46

There is nobody to leave him with. The only family here are dh's and they'll all be going too.

Sirzy Wed 22-Mar-17 18:40:20

I would take him but not to the service. Then he can see the family and whatever while there too. Means you are also more able to support your husband too.

shockshockhorror Wed 22-Mar-17 18:40:57

My grandad just died and DS (3.5) is not going to the funeral. He's too young, he will just see a lot of upset people talking words he doesn't understand. I have explained to him in simple terms, he has talked to all the family about it and I'll take him to the wake so he's still a part of it. (Same with DD, 2)

I think you're right not to take him. An older child yes, but at 3 I think it's unfair to expect them to understand and sit still throughout.

BumWad Wed 22-Mar-17 18:41:20

Never too young

MrsCobain Wed 22-Mar-17 18:43:26

There is absolutely no way he'd sit still. He's bouncing off the sodding walls at the best of times let alone when he's been stuck in a car all day. I'm gobsmacked anyone that knows him is even considering it!

LellyMcKelly Wed 22-Mar-17 18:48:24

Family is family. If that's the way things are done in his, then that's the way you should do it. It's a mark of respect, not just to the dead, but to the wider family you are there to support. It's also a chance for his family to see your son and get to know him. We took my DD to my DH grandfather's funeral when she was 1, and she was a great distraction for the adults.

samG76 Wed 22-Mar-17 18:49:17

I find that it's better at a funeral to have the young(er)(est) generation around, to show that the family lives on.

Our family rule is that the DC's come with. The most miserable funerals I've been to have been adults only....

Mari50 Wed 22-Mar-17 18:50:09

A lot here depends on you and your DH. Would he prefer you with him and giving support even if you are unable to go to service because your feel DS couldn't cope? Is he not bothered and happy to go alone? Will the in-laws think your horrible for not attending? Do you care? Etc etc. Of course YNBU taking a child that young to a funeral, whether YABU not supporting your partner is another matter. He has already given his opinion though. . .

remoaniac Wed 22-Mar-17 18:51:44

When my FIL died I did not take my ds to the funeral. He was 5 at the time. He didn't go to my father's funeral last year either.

If he'd had a close relationship with either of them, it might have been different.

You don't have to look in an open casket. When my uncle by marriage died he was laid out in my aunt's front room. Neither me nor my mum looked.

Sirzy Wed 22-Mar-17 18:51:58

I also think as it's his family final decision should rest with him

Orangebird69 Wed 22-Mar-17 18:52:30

Yanbu. Absolutely no need for a 3yo to be at a funeral.

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