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To think guides should have given parents a bit of warning before telling 11 year olds one of the leaders is terminally ill.

(14 Posts)
skybright Thu 24-Sep-09 23:01:18

My eleven year old came back from guides tonight crying her eyes out as after one of the leaders went home early the other said she had "an announcement" and told them all that the leader who had just left was terminally ill with cancer,the doctors had said they could not help her anymore but she was being positive about it...oh and not to ask her any questions about it.

I know death is a reality etc etc but surely the parents could have been warned that they were going to be told this.

Dianne35 Thu 24-Sep-09 23:03:44

Good heavens, I totally agree, that's a horrendous thing to be breaking to a group of young girls with no warning and not to allow any further discussion of it.

LittleMissMummy Thu 24-Sep-09 23:04:50

Yip I agree, its quite blunt, telling them she was terminally ill then not allowed to ask questions. They must have been really upset and confused by it all.

ronshar Thu 24-Sep-09 23:06:30

I probably would have liked a letter to have come home with my DD explaining the situation.
But 11year olds are def old enough to understand about death etc and I think it is good that the guides have treated them with respect and maturity.
Poor lady, it is a sad thing to happen to anybody.

lilolilmanchester Thu 24-Sep-09 23:13:38

agree with ronshar - but then my DCs had experienced more than their fair share of family bereavements before 11 so perhaps better equipped to deal with it. can see your point tho skybright especially if the children hadn't experienced death before, tho not entirely sure what you could have done to soften the blow tbh

TrillianAstra Thu 24-Sep-09 23:16:24

Not asking questions seems weird and wrong to me.

But I don't think you should have had a letter home to warn you. I think it's right to tell them outright. How could you possibly have been warned without the guides knowing that something was up? At 11 I would have been more worried that something was happening that was being kept a secret (no idea what I woul dhave imagned that would actually be worse, but it would feel worse to be imagining it).

skybright Thu 24-Sep-09 23:18:29

She has experienced far to many deaths for her age,her father died when she was very young and also my Gran recently.

I suppose she was going to be very upset whatever way she was told i am just very glad that i was not working tonight.

It will be hard for them next week not to answer any questions though won't it.

skybright Thu 24-Sep-09 23:20:42

I suppose i thought that one of the leaders may have phoned us at some point in the last week or even tonight to let us know that all the girls would be very upset and why.

They phone my often enough with camp info etc.

QuintessentialShadow Thu 24-Sep-09 23:24:18

Well, the parents should have been informed first.

One of my sons teachers died from cancer this spring. Nobody knew he was ill before he actually died. It was very sad.

I reckon he could not face all the children he cared about being sad, confused, fearing for the future, etc.

katiestar Thu 24-Sep-09 23:26:11

I think it is sad you seem more concerned about your DDs who are a little upset than for the guider who is going to die and her family

lilolilmanchester Thu 24-Sep-09 23:29:17

well skybright's dd has had her own difficult losses to deal with, which wasn't apparent from the OP, and that will make it all a bit rawer for her. But not sure that the leaders should have done anything differently TBH.

cory Fri 25-Sep-09 07:43:38

I don't know. When dd's best friend's mum was dying, her son (another 11yo) asked his junior school to break it to the other children so that they would understand why his siblings sometimes acted a bit oddly. Don't think it occurred to anyone to complain about that, because the needs of the family were so clearly more important than anything else. The other children, even the very young ones, seemed to cope well.

I suppose I don't think of an 11yo as someone so young that they're not going to be out and about in the community and sometimes get at the bad news first. I often relied on dd to fill me in about how her friend's mum was doing and she went to the funeral to support her friend.

cory Fri 25-Sep-09 08:23:18

tbh I don't know how you could send a secret letter home via an 11-yo, wouldn't that seem very odd? At their age, aren't they used to handling communications between school and parents- it's not like you go looking through their book bags like with little children. So how would the guides have explained to them that you have to take this letter home to your parents without reading it? I'd have thought that would be more scary and upsetting.

fluffles Fri 25-Sep-09 08:28:08

letters take a lot of planning and wording it right would be agonsing... it sounds like the leaders were both dealing with their own reactions to the news and doing what they can.

remember that guide leaders are just like you and me (a lot like me, i am one) and they are upset and tired and stressed and dealing with their families and jobs and everything else.

they probably decided that the girls had already twigged soemthing was up (they're very perceptive and gossip can be worse than the truth) and that it was best not to lie to them.

i agree it would have been best if the remaining leader could have discussed it more but she clearly didn't feel up to it (may have only heard the news herself that day and the other leader is likely to be a good friend).

i hope that they'll talk things through over the next few weeks.

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