Sorry this may be garbled / blunt, I just need to get it down.
My brother killed himself over the weekend. He'd had a troubled life and struggled to deal with it. He finally sought psychiatric help a week or so ago as he realised he was in a bad way and wanted to make it through for his son But it seems he could see no way out. My brother found him hanging in his flat yesterday. I think I am still in shock. We're not a particularly close family and there have been many "issues", but, oh my god, I feel so terribly sad for him. I am trying to stay strong for my children's sake (8 & 10), but struggling to keep it together... I really need to talk, but can't as the children are always listening and I don't want to make it any harder than it already is... Don't think DP knows what to say either
We have told the children the truth - obviously as few details as we can get away with, but I couldn't lie to them. Also, my brother knew a lot of people and there was the risk they'd find out from someone in the playground... It seems from reading on the Winston's Wish site etc, that we took the right decision as they advocate telling the truth, and answering questions as they arise. The theory is that if they ask questions, they're ready to hear the answers, but they just seem so young to have to know about this DS has been asking a lot of questions, how did he do it, why, etc, and it's so bloody hard. What do I say? DP has taken today off work but has to go in tomorrow and I don't know how I'll cope.
Then I start thinking about my poor, poor, nephew , who's the same age as DS, and I just can't bear it. How the hell will he ever get over this? He and my mum were the last people to see DB alive
Sorry for rambling... DP has taken the kids out for a while. Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated...
I'm so sorry, what a tragedy for you and your family
Be kind to yourself. It sounds like you are doing brilliantly with supporting your children. I have no real experience of children and bereavement, just personal but I think what you are doing is spot on. Answer their questions, as you are, just as they arise and in age appropriate language.
I think it's okay for your dc's to see you sad, it is very sad when you lose someone you love and I think it's okay for children to see that and be part of that.
How very difficult for you. You are right to think this through despite your own distress. Children are best given honest answers but ones that you can add to later when they are older and have a better understanding - they are least likely to ask more questions if the answers they get make sense. Suicide is usually the result of someone being ill in some way - irrational thoughts they cant conquer; depression that takes them very low - so you can stick with the ill part as a cause as this helps children understand they or other nearest and dearest are not at any risk.
I am feeling a little calmer now, it seems to come in waves... I guess we just need to take it as it comes with the children and be there for them. I think I will ring one of the helplines over the next few days. DN has gone with his mum to stay at his grandma's for a few days, so I don't know exactly what he's been told (DB & DN's mum were separated).
Will post more later, need to go take my parents to break the news to my grandmother (she's been away)