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Should DD3 (3) go to her dad's (my exH) funeral or is she too young?

(16 Posts)

exH was the NRP and had alcohol issues which at times stopped him from seeing our DDs. In DD3s life she has probably spent more time not seeing him she has seeing him. He had started having them one day a week before they split up from school until he died just over a week ago.

She is aware that he has died and if he is mentioned will say "Daddy is dead" and has mentioned this on her on but not very often. She loved spending time with him and has always known who he was.

I had intended on letting the DDs make up their own mind about whether or not they attend the funeral but every time I mention it to a friend she says that she thinks she is too young but we all do things differently and it has put doubts in my mind.

I so want to do the best thing for them, him and his family but am starting to seriously doubt myself!

Thank you.

filee777 Mon 16-Sep-13 18:35:03

I would go with her, he is her dad and unfortunately it might be one of her only memories of him.

Plus she might meet family who want to stay in touch with her.

IsThatTrue Mon 16-Sep-13 18:38:30

I think she should go. The only resentment over funerals I've ever heard is not being allowed to go. Rather than the other way round.

SofaKing Mon 16-Sep-13 18:45:21

I would let her go.

I lost my gran at 3 and wasn't allowed to attend the funeral. The next time I was in her flat I asked where she was and became upset when told she was dead, as up to that point I hadn't realised that meant I would never see her again.

I think a funeral would have clarified this for me as it would have given me a chance to say goodbye.

I told her that I hadn't just made the decision on my own and that I had researched online as well as contact a child bereavement charity and all have come back saying that she should have the choice. I said that there are people who were not allowed to go to the funeral of a loved one at a very young age who were still very angry about it many years later.

She was still a bit hmm saying she wouldn't understand what was going on. I trust her completely and I think that is why whenever she disagrees with me I really start to question myself!

Thank you.

IsThatTrue Mon 16-Sep-13 19:19:00

Could/would you go with her. Maybe that would help her knowing you could be there to comfort/explain.

I'm so sorry for your DD's loss.

headlesslambrini Mon 16-Sep-13 19:35:11

my two didn't want to come to MIL funeral, they went to school as usual and we picked them up afterwards and went to the wake instead. DH was more worried about them seeing him upset than anything else. They came with us when we spread the ashes though and said a little prayer each. DD was 5 and DS 7.

I think I would allow them to make the decision themselves but make sure you tell them what to expect beforehand, talk them through each stage of the funeral so nothing is a shock.

TrinityRhino Mon 16-Sep-13 19:43:39

my dds were 9, 4 and 2 when their dad died
I took them all to the funeral as it was their dad and I tyhought they had the right to go

my best friend said she would have taken the out for me if they didn't want to stay

I would take her for sure

sorry for your dds loss

holidaysarenice Mon 16-Sep-13 19:46:32

Honestly I would take her to the service, maybe not a burial or crematorium.

She might find going into the ground upsetting or she may see it as a bye bye. I'm so sorry for all of you.

stealthsquiggle Mon 16-Sep-13 19:47:02

How old are the others, OP?

I doubt 3yo will take much in, but it would be sad, and potentially divisive, if her sisters tell her in later years about Daddy's funeral "but you weren't there"

holidaysarenice Mon 16-Sep-13 19:47:15

I've just realised she is dd3, definitely take her too. In years to come she won't want to have been treated differently.

defineme Mon 16-Sep-13 19:52:23

I think you're doing the right thing, and even if she can't remember it in years to come, you will be able to tell lher she was there, and that in itself is important--to know she was included.

My dfriend is very very sensible, but strongly felt young kids of another friend (who was dying and given 'a few weeks' to live) shouldn't have been told before it happened. It's as much about the person's issues in these cases-it's hard not to bring your own issues to emotional stuff like this.

ohmeohmyforgotlogin Mon 16-Sep-13 19:53:17

Call winstons wish for advice. I think it is generally that children who are excluded from events like this tend to have more difficulties than those who aren't. You could talk through what will happen at a funeral by having funeral for a bug or a toy or something and allow her to ask questions before the event

Our other DDs are 11 (his DSD) and 5.

I will definitely be going either way as even though we haven't always got on he has been a huge part of my life for 13 of the last 16 years.

The other option is to take all 3 DDs to the service and wake only and then ask ExMIL if we can be there if they scatter his ashes.

I really really want to do the right thing for everyone.

Isabeller Mon 16-Sep-13 19:55:29

Take her. Agree with what others are saying also she may be a comfort to others who are there (without that being an imposition on her) which might mean in future years she is able to talk to people who knew her Dad a bit more easily than if she is 'edited out of the picture'.

Your friend's point of view is understandable but I think mistaken. My Nan died when I was 3 and I have some very clear memories of her and her illness. Sadly my family did not deal well with funerals in my childhood and I am sorry not to have been allowed to go to several.

I have spoken to them about what will happen but DD2 doesn't want to talk about it as she says it makes her too sad. I think I will talk to them all separately.

His parents are absolutely devastated so I'm conscious of not doing something that will also make it harder for them.

Thank you for your replies, you have confirmed what I was thinking.

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