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To be upset by this, I keep trying not to be

(99 Posts)
chegirl Wed 01-Jul-09 22:19:42

My DS1's school is having a talent contest on Friday. He has been talking about it for a few weeks and of course I had planned to go. He has missed out over the years as his sister's illness meant we had to miss a lot of school functions over the years.

On Monday he told me 'the talent contest is in memory of DD'. Its the first I have heard of it. Two girls who went to school with her have arranged it. I am confused because they are not pupils. The school is new, having merged DS's and DD's old school with another one and moving to a brand new site. The girls would be too old to have attended this school.

I have now recieved an invitation via DS. It states the contest is in tribute.

I am very upset that no one has asked me or OH if we are ok with this, if we wanted to be involved or if we felt comfortable coming at all. OH is working so I will have to go on my own with the DS2 and DS3. I want to support DS1 but I really dont want to go.

Its hard to sit and hear my DD's name over and over, to see photos or her name written on posters. To hear people talk about her. Its not that I dont appreciate people thinking about her and I want her to be remembered forever.

But I will have to sit there and be brave whilst people know who I am. It feels like so much pressure and I feel trapped into going.

Whenever we have done anything for DD I have been able to prepare myself, it takes a lot out of us. It can be very hard afterwards to 'come down'.

I actually find going to secondary school very hard anyway. The sight of all those beautiful, healthy, lively teenage girls can be really painful. I go to DS's parents evenings of course but I find them stressful.

I dont know what to do. I dont want to be ungreatful but I wished someone had phoned us.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Wed 01-Jul-09 22:21:28

sad They should have asked you if it was OK. Could you email and tell them how you feel?

HumphreyCobbler Wed 01-Jul-09 22:22:43

I would prioritise YOUR feelings and stop worrying about other people.

Of course they should have asked you.

You should get someone you trust to deal with this for you, speak to the school and explain that you cannot attend.

I am so sorry

2shoes Wed 01-Jul-09 22:23:38

yanbu
they should have asked you first. It is a lovely idea but it sounds like it is way to raw for you.

AnyFucker Wed 01-Jul-09 22:26:31

They absolutely should have cleared it with you first

Speak to the head and get the emphasis changed. Could they do it as a fundraiser instead for childhood cancer, but not mention your dd'd name?

Don't go, it sounds like it would be tremendously painful for you.

Laquitar Wed 01-Jul-09 22:27:03

Gosh, i find it very odd that you haven't been told shock.

You are not ungratefull. Everybody would feel the same.

If you have to go can you take a good friend with you?

I'm sorry about your loss.

MamaHobgoblin Wed 01-Jul-09 22:27:45

I can't believe they didn't ask you first! Of course you're not being unreasonable, and I'd get someone to contact the school and ask if maybe they could just have the contest without it being dedicated.

funnypeculiar Wed 01-Jul-09 22:29:14

Of course they should have asked you - YANBU at all. Am amzed they would be so thoughtless sad

Could you write (easier than talking) and explain that you would like to be asked about anything further to do done in your daughters name, and also ask what can be done to allow you to attend (if you want) without having to draw attention to yourself and asking that they explain exactly what they are going to be doing (so that nothing 'catches you out' iykwim)

Or saying you won't be attending on this occasion, if that's easier for you - do what YOU want to do, and make them arrange it round that, basically.

radstar Wed 01-Jul-09 22:36:09

What a terrible situation for you, I'm not sure what to say but wanted to comment as you hadn't had many replies.

It seems that the thought was there but is somewhat misguided. Obviously no-one could understand what your feelings would be, particularly if it were two teenagers who have arranged the concert. It would be have been tactful to have contacted you in advance and I'm surprised that the teachers at the school didn't question whether it would be acceptable to you.

I agree with humphrey cobbler - is there someone who could contact the school on your behalf to explain how you feel. You shouldn't have to be brave just for everyone else.

I too am so sorry x

chegirl Wed 01-Jul-09 22:48:17

Thank you for your replies.

The problem is that it is this Friday and my DS is in it. I dont care about the school or the girls who have arranged it but I know my DS wants me there sad.

The school (in its old incarnation) was awful when DD was ill. I got one ansaphone message when she was diagnosed then nothing for two years unless I called them. They didnt come and see her or send her any work at all despite numerous requests from the hospital home school teachers. They ignored my girl.

When she died they didnt contact us. On the day of her funeral they shut the school without asking us. I only found out the day before I was really worried about loads of kids turning up and engaging in competitive grieving. As it happens the kids that did come were well behaved but I was very distracted by it.

The next time I heard from them was when my DS broke a window in the last term at the old school. Within minutes they were on the phone leaving me a message telling me that they were worried about how angry he had seemed and they would be sending me a bill for the window. Nothing about trying to sort out his 'worrying' anger. I didnt object to paying for damage by my son (very very out of character btw even they said that} but I was very upset that they had ignored us for 3 years and suddenly they were right on the case.

I did write a letter and was very clear why I was so upset. NOT because DS and us were being called to account for his behaviour (really really). I put in everything that had upset me about their attitude towards the pastoral care of DD and DS. NOTHING. No reply. A teacher told my son they would talk to me when they had time but nothing happened. If I had received a letter like that from one of my service users I wouldve been on the phone like a shot.

It seems that not much has changed in this big,new, superschool.

I am going to have to go. My friend has offered to come with me. She is going to have to take time off work. She has always been there when I have needed her to.

But I just dont want the hassle of it or to have to get annoyed or upset.

GodzillasBumcheek Wed 01-Jul-09 22:52:51

Someone should definately have contacted you, so YANBU.

Do explain why you are not going to your DS though, if you haven't already, and perhaps ask if it can be filmed so you can see his performance. Would that be a compromise to sitting through it?

If you wanted to appease the girls who organised the event you could email/send them a letter of appreciation so they don't feel too disappointed - though be aware they could put that on display too, so don't write anything you'd want kept private.

HTH.

Madmentalbint Wed 01-Jul-09 22:55:17

YANBU in the slightest and my heart goes out to you.

I know their intentions were nothing but good but they absolutely should have spoken to you and your family first. It is such a sensitive situation and they've been rather clumsy. I agree that you shouldn't put yourself through anything you aren't comfortable with.

ItsAllaBitNoisy Wed 01-Jul-09 22:56:48

I would ring the school and tell them that the concert is not to be in memory of your DD, that you will attend as you want to see your DS, but your DD is not to mentioned. Perhaps your friend could ring for you?

Dreadful behaviour by the school.

My sincere sympathies to you.

Hassled Wed 01-Jul-09 22:58:26

This is just so bloody awful for you I don't know where to begin.

Could you explain all this to your DS, so he understands that really, you just can't go? I'm sure he would understand. It's way over and above the call of duty in the circumstances.

NeedaNewName Wed 01-Jul-09 22:58:56

I still think you should write to the head and include the govenors.

Hope everything goes OK for you on Friday.

radstar Wed 01-Jul-09 22:59:23

I'm even more shocked and saddend for you after reading your latest comment, again I'm not sure what to say. I don't know how some people can be so heartless, particularly after you complained before. Surely they would have wanted to address your concerns and try to make amends. Its just too awful, I feel for your son who still has to go there x

cornsilk Wed 01-Jul-09 23:14:19

I'm sorry that you're being faced with this chegirl. x

chegirl Wed 01-Jul-09 23:30:08

Thanks everyone. I am going to bed now. I think I will try and ring them tommorow if I get a quiet moment at work. I dont feel i can walk in unprepared. DS is a good lad and would try to understand but he has come second so much over the last few years. i dont think I can do it to him.

thanks again. Its been helpful to know I am not being over the top.

QuintessentialShadow Wed 01-Jul-09 23:41:41

Chegirl, I dont know what to say. But especially in the light of how they treated your family during your dds illnes, it must feel a bit like they are taking the piss now? What is their agenda? Does it suddenly benefit them doing this?

I would call them and say they have not got your permission to use your dd in this manner. They can make a general fundraiser or cancer awareness event, but keep your dd out of it.

so sorry for you.

pickyvic Wed 01-Jul-09 23:42:35

what an absolute fucking liberty. so they couldnt be arsed to do the right thing when your DD was ill but now they can polish their halos and act like the concerned party?

no.

id make my feelings very well known. before the concert. cheeky bastards

and you have my sincere condolences for your loss. x

SolidGoldBrass Wed 01-Jul-09 23:52:08

I am appalled at this school's complete lack of sensitivity. I can see why a couple of the girls might have wanted to arrange an event but for the school to let them go ahead without even suggesting that you should be consulted... The school sounds completely clueless about handling the psychological wellbeing of pupils.
I am so sorry for your loss and that you are having to deal with this dumbfuck behaviour.

Northernlurker Wed 01-Jul-09 23:53:22

It's not necessarily the school though is it? (They sound appalling btw and you owe them nothing!) You say the event has been arranged by two of your dd's friends? I expect they've just gone at it in the very simple mindset that youth gives you - they loved your dd and want to show that, you loved your dd and therefore will like them showing that too - end of debate. Real life and grief is much harder than that isn't it and that's something that, thankfully really, they just don't understand.

If your friend comes with you I hope you can just zone out for a bit and the afterwards I would write to the school and say thanks very much but never, ever again.

Merrylegs Wed 01-Jul-09 23:56:40

How awful. Where is the Head in all of this? What does s\he have to say? Have you addressed the Head directly - asked to speak to them? This is so unreasonable on their part. Any 'memorial' should absolutely be done on your terms. And you don't want this to be it. Why should you?

The teenagers who organized this may be forgiven for being naive and emotional - teens often are. But the Head is behaving in an amazingly insensitive way. Can you email the Head?

Absolutely feel for you. It is taking energy you just don't need to waste on them. And seems perhaps it is shifting the focus away from what sounds like something your DS has really been looking forward to and turning it into something else?

You remember your DD all the time. You don't need a random set of people to pick a date or an event for that out of the blue.

(YA definitely NOT BU, btw)

ConnieComplaint Wed 01-Jul-09 23:58:57

I am on the BOG at our school & I have to say that we would be appalled at this type of behaviour.

There's no excuse for the way they ignored you & your beautiful dd.

JUst an example: my nephew had a bad accident a couple of weeks ago. Was in hospital for 2 weeks.. in that time his parents had a pgone call every day from the school principal, he posted them up cards, they had a mass said in his honour. DN has been home a week now, and despite the fact that it's the summer holidays, 2 teachers and the principal was out visiting him thise afternoon... that's what should have been happening when your daughter was ill.

I would have very mixed feelings re: a memorial/tribute event. Do you maybe think they are trying to make it up to you but going the wrong way about it? It seems very strange to me that they didn't ask for your consent to hold such an event.

zeke Thu 02-Jul-09 00:03:04

I am so shocked and saddened by how terribly the school have acted over the years, including this.

I would also contact them and explain how unacceptable and inappropriate this is, and it really is. I think the suggestion of a friend doing this for you is very good.

I hope this is sorted out swiftly and you and your son enjoy his performance.

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