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My DD's best friend's mum is dying.(9 Posts)
Both girls are only 8. The Mum is a dear friend of mine so I am devastated about it myself but I really do not know how to handle it with my own little girl. She's quite a sensitive child and she's going to have to cope with this in her best friend's life some time very soon and I feel quite helpless about it. Can anybody help please?
Didn't want to see this one unanswered
I am not sure there is much you can do apart from be very honest with your DD and talk to her and let her talk as much as she needs. She will probably have lots of questions (my 8-9 year olds were very matter of fact about my mum getting cancer and dying). But also show her it is fine to be upset, both you and her. And expect maybe fears about your or other people close to her also dying. Talk about how rare it is.
I'm so sorry you are all going through this. It is a horrible thing to happen.
I think throckenholt has said everything I would say.
I would also ask the school about how they can support your DD and of course your DD's friend, if they are in the same school. I think it is very important that you know your DD is being supported when she is at school.
The whole thing is unbelievably crap, my poor DD is such a tiny part of the whole sh*tty tragedy. She was so upset when my Dad died but at least she kind of understood that he was old, my friend is younger than I am.
It is sh*tty stretch. I am in a similar postion supporting my DD as a very close friend of hers has died. It is all sh*tty!
I hope you can get some support and help from your DD's school and there are charities which help children deal with grief. Winston's Wish is supposed to be very good, my DD went to Cruise for a few months and it helped her in the early stages.
I would also say make sure you look after yourself. You are not only looking after DD but you are losing a friend. I did find everything got too much for me at one point. I went to my DR and she referred me for some CBT which has help with dealing with anxieties I was having.
Sending you and your family lots of love and strength. x
My dd's best friend's dad died when they were ten, three years ago. We has his friend over to play a lot and took him for days out. My ds was over there playing the day before he died, which on reflection might not have been the best thing for my son, but his mother wanted some normality for her ds. Tbh I think children are quite accepting of situations like that. Really really sad though.
I don't have any professional advice, can only tell you about the (sadly quite large) number of bereaved children at the school where I work. Judging from their experience I would say that you are going to be affected more severely than your daughter and I hope you are able to find the support that you need for yourself So sorry that you are going through this.
One little girl was 7 when her mum died, totally unexpectedly. She gave no reaction at all for about a week after coming back to school until she suddenly shouted in the middle of a silent maths lesson, 'My mummy has died.' The other children were told as a group before she came back to school. Some were frightened that their own mums would die. Generally they were fine though and accepted that a very sad and unusal thing had happened to their friend but that they should still treat her the same way but let an adult know f she was sad.
Her brother was 12 at the time and was in my class. He was very quiet but calm and able to work with me on ways to make his first school days as easy as possible. His best friends were wonderful. We had a special arrangement that they could come into the classroom as a small group during their free time and play quiet games or talk etc (usually not allowed) and I was really impressed by how boys that young could really support each other. Those friends went to the funeral and cried with him. It was lovely, in a really sad way.
Another girl was 9 when her mum died, after a year long cancer battle. She has never shown any reaction in school at all. When it first happened and she was away her friends were very emotional, worried and angry. They needed a lot of talking and reassurance. This girl never has though, she is very self contained.
The last boy was 11 when his Dad died abroad, very suddenly. The family are foreign and, I think, grief is not outwardly displayed in his culture. This boy was also in my class but I didn't see him until a few weeks afterwards as he was flown straight back home. The rest of the class were shocked and subdued but not noticably upset. They were very keen to make cards and things and seemed to think this would make the boy happy again.
I know that the advice that you're looking for is regarding your own daughter (completely appropriate, of course) but as someone who lost my own mum when I was young, I just wanted to point out what a special, wonderful place you can occupy in your daughter's friend's life.
My mum's closest friend still sends birthday cards and comments on my kids' pictures on facebook, and even that little contact means the world to me because it is a connection to my mum (and I'm nearly 40!).
You would be amazed how much it can mean, even years later, to have someone who really knew her just say casually "oh your mum would be so proud today / would love your fiance / would laugh so hard at that story / would want you to follow your dreams" etc. etc.
Because your daughter's mum is your own dear friend, you can be someone who can talk fondly to her about her mum, remember times that you spent all together and, if the girls remain close and you remain in the daughter's life, remind her as she grows of how much her mum loved her, how lovely they were together, things like that.
I would imagine that your dd will just need a lot of reassurance that it is very unusual for kids to lose their parents so young, and that you are very healthy (hopefully this is the case!) etc. Please tell your dd not to be afraid to talk to her friend about her mum after she passes - she will need someone at her own age and level who remembers her mum for the lovely person she was, not just as "xxx's dead mum who must not be mentioned" - it is painful to realise as a child that other people think of someone precious and irreplaceable to you as something scary or embarrassing that shouldn't be talked about.
I'm so sorry for all of you.
I am going through this with my son at the moment. He is 6 and his best friends Dad died in February following complications of leukaemia treatment. He was my friend to although not as close as you are with your friend. During his illness and since he died I have become very close to his wife.
You have had most of this advice already but basically let your dd know that she can ask any questions she likes about your friend and that you will always be honest. Emphasise that it is very unusual for people to die young as she is likely to worry about the same thing happening to you. We have told ds1 that there may be many different ways that his friend reacts from no different (mostly how he has been so far) to very sad or angry. And that he might do or say nasty things to ds as a reflection of his grief. We told ds that if this happened to try not to get cross back but to tell a grownup.
I think it is also important to tell your dd that you are very sad too and that if you cry when she talks about this it is not her making you sad as she may worry about talking about it if it makes you cry. But that you are sad because it is very sad she has died and you want her to not worry about talking to you.
Feel free to pm me if you want to talk about this some more x