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How to stop repeating the past - talking about death?

(9 Posts)
GruffaloShampoo Tue 15-Jul-14 16:36:40

I have nc�d for this as it�s a bit outy and sorry this has turned out long and rambly as apparently I even struggle to type about it.

My mother and brother died in a car accident when I was a young child and as a family we barely spoke of them since. My family are very good at bottling feelings and everyone tiptoed round protecting everyone else too much so as a result I still really struggle to talk about them without getting upset.

I now have a 3yo and 1 yo and have never mentioned my mum or brother to them. My dad has remarried and my 3yo is aware that she is not my mum so has started asking questions, and also asking where DH�s dad is as he lost his father when he was a teen. I�m ashamed to say I have distracted him every time as I don�t know what to say. I know I need to talk about them, I don�t want to pretend they never existed, but I don�t want him to know that mummies sometimes aren�t always there, I can�t bear the thought of him thinking I might die. I realise I can�t protect him forever but I he has no concept of death at all and I wish I didn�t have to introduce it.

I should have just talked about them all along as now I feel like I have to sit him down and do some big �telling him� talk, which I think will be the wrong way of dealing with it. I have realised that my family have conditioned me too well, and I�m in now in danger of doing what I always said I wouldn�t do � I always swore I would be more open with my children. In a lot of ways I am, but this maybe a step too far for me.

Does anyone have any advice?

GruffaloShampoo Tue 15-Jul-14 16:37:06

argh! c&p from word, sorry.

MrsMaturin Tue 15-Jul-14 16:53:07

How incredibly painful for you. Have a <<hug>>.

Ok first of all - I think every mum struggles to talk about death with their dc. Leaving them is our biggest fear isn't it? Along with losing them it's the thing that scares me more than anything else possibly could. That's the same for us whether we've both of our own parents alive or whether we have as you have, already suffered a terrible loss. So its normal for this to be hard for you. I remember dd1 asking me if I was going to die and I told that yes I will one day. I couldn't help crying and I'm perfectly healthy as are both my parents and dh's parents!

Two things really come to mind - firstly I think you should seek some support with your own loss. You've clearly functioned very well up to now but it's good to talk and you have a different perspective on your loss now you have children. You may find exploring that in some sort of counselling is what you need to do to move forward.

Secondly do you have a picture of your mum and brother out on display? If you don't could you get one? Then you can simply tell your children that's your family and they loved you very much but there was an accident and they died. But you know that the love never dies. I hope you do know that Op - because its true. You lost them in your life then but love is unquenchable. It's for always.
You may find this book helpful. It ends with the line 'love like starlight never dies' It's a simple concept but very helpful and reassuring for children and adults!

GruffaloShampoo Tue 15-Jul-14 17:08:06

Thank you very much for your reply. I have had some counselling yes, about 5 years ago when we were thinking of ttc as I knew I needed to get some stuff sorted out. You may well be right and I need to revisit now that I have children as it does change your perspective. Unfortuantely as usual it's a struggle to find time and money for that sort of thing but I will definitley investigate.

No, I don't have a picture of them on display because I don't have a picture of them. My dad has a picture of my brother on his desk, but none of my mum out, and I don't know where they all are in his house (he has loads of albums but away). He did give me some a while ago and I have managed to lose them. I won't go into the amount of tears shed over that, I am sure you can imagine.

I have got that book from the library before. Couldn't finish it grin

MrsMaturin Tue 15-Jul-14 17:28:37

Let you in to a secret - I cried just typing that bit from the book!

What's your relationship with your step-mum like? If it is difficult to talk to your dad about this would it be easier to ask her for some more pictures that your could copy? If that's not possible then try asking your dad for a picture of your mum and brother together citing your ds as a reason. Sometimes we just have to do things that hurt and you can't not ask him because it may upset him. You need what you need.

winstons wish is the charity you needed as a bereaved child. Their website is very good. Have a look at it - may help you to see things from the child's pov.

GruffaloShampoo Wed 16-Jul-14 11:18:10

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond smile my relationship with her is good, she is a family friend who I have known all my life and who knew my mum and brother so that definitely helps, and we talk about them more now than when I was a child (they got married when I was in my 20s).

My dad got a lot of help from Gingerbread and Cruse, but I got nothing! I will have a look at Winstons Wish, thanks very much again I really appreciate it.

MrsMaturin Fri 18-Jul-14 08:05:32

Sorry missed your reply. I'm glad you get on well with your stepmum. Lean on that then. I wish you well OP smile

GruffaloShampoo Thu 07-Aug-14 16:18:35

Well I have managed to discuss this with him. I can�t remember how the subject came up, but we were in the car on the way back from visiting my dad and it was very helpful that I didn�t have to look at him when talking about it I think. Anyway I told him very matter of factly why I don�t have a mummy any more and he asked a couple of questions and then changed the subject. It definitely went in though as I was talking about something the other day and he asked me if it had happened when I still had a mummy.

I feel huge relief that it is out in the open so to speak.

GruffaloShampoo Thu 07-Aug-14 16:19:21

damn that c&p grin

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