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How do I have this conversation with a 5 year old?

(4 Posts)
poachedeggs Tue 16-Oct-12 22:57:18

DH has had a call to say that MIL isn't good. She has cancer and has been in hospital for around ten days, but her breathing is deteriorating. She's five hours drive away.

DS is 5. He knows grandma is ill - we visit a few times a year and she's been in hospital at times, or if we stay with her she needs to sleep a lot etc. But I think because this has gone on for so long (diagnosis that it was back and had metastasized came eighteen months ago) he's very accepting that this is how things are. I don't think it's fair to just tell him, out of the blue, when the time comes, but then I don't want to worry him. And he is quite sensitive.

So sad for my DH, who's had to drive all that way tonight, alone, to see his much-loved DM so ill. I can't think what's best to say to DS, but I will have to explain where daddy has gone tomorrow and I'm not sure how to say it. sad

droitwitchymummy Tue 16-Oct-12 23:25:21

All you can do is be honest with him. We told our DS that grandad was ill and that he would not get better. Usually children cope much better with bereavement than adults as they are very matter of fact about things at that age. We also made sure his class teacher was aware in case he said anything at school or became upset.
Best wishes to you all x

poachedeggs Tue 16-Oct-12 23:46:13

Thank you. I just don't know how to do it but I think I need to prepare him for what's inevitable. I will try to be honest.

BadRoly Tue 16-Oct-12 23:53:53

What droitwitchmummy said. Be truthful but keep it in terms your ds will understand.

Dd2 is 5 and was when dh's stepdad and my Dad died within days of each other earlier this year. Sfil was a surprise and my dad we knew 2 weeks before and went to say our goodbyes. We have found she has times when she is very tearful and upset and misses her grandfathers. Even now she has "sad times".

I also think its ok to let her see that you and dh are sad. We frequently have family crying sessions if they catch me sad!

We have a charity locally that is set up to help children (under18s) with bereavement. The school 'referred' us but before the referral they were happy fr me to phone and ask fr advice. Likewise, our school were very supportive of us all and kept an eye out on the children.

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