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DH died last night. No idea what to tell 2.5yo DS

(179 Posts)
PetaO Fri 31-Oct-14 17:50:10

DH was diagnosed with advanced gastric cancer on the 1st August this year.
Surgery was ruled out. We managed 2 rounds of Palliative chemo before they decided that it wasn't working and he was too ill for further treatment and so there was nothing else they could do.

We moved him to a hospice on Wednesday with the hope of using it as a stepping stone to him coming home to be with us all at the end. But he was in a lot of pain with difficulty breathing yesterday, and while I was sitting with him at about half 10 j the evening he was struggling to breath, and all of a sudden he wasn't anymore.

I don't understand how it can happen this fast. He was a 32 yo healthy 10k runner and cycler. He didn't smoke or drink. It has all come as such a shock. We thought we'd have even a little more time.

But most of all I have absolutely no idea what to tell our son. He was at the hospice yesterday afternoon, playing with me in DHs room. So he knows that daddy wasn't feeling well and was in hospital so that the doctors could try and make him feel better. But he hasn't asked about him today. And I don't know what to say when he does.

I am at a complete loss.

LIZS Fri 31-Oct-14 17:52:17

I'm so sorry for your loss. Perhaps you could speak to Winston's Wish for advice as to how and what to say .

CocktailQueen Fri 31-Oct-14 17:53:55

I am so, so sorry. Sending you big hugs. Thinking of you. What a terrible shock. Xx

chicaguapa Fri 31-Oct-14 17:54:50

Hi. I can't help with your question, but just wanted to offer condolences. It must be a huge shock to you and I hope you have people in RL who can support you. x

Jenda Fri 31-Oct-14 17:55:45

I was going to say Winston' s Wish too. I've heard they are amazing. I am so very sorry for your loss

Hueycool Fri 31-Oct-14 17:56:46

I'm so sorry and sad to hear of your loss. I second Liz and sadly don't have anything wise to say but didn't want to pass by. There are no words I can say to comfort you at this time. The shock must be incredible. I hope you're comforted by having loving friends and family to support you.

mumof6needssanity Fri 31-Oct-14 17:57:08

I'm so sorry for your loss.

My mum passed away when I was 4, my advice is to be as open and honest as your dc can handle. Also carry on talking about and looking at photos etc of your dh.
It wont get easier with time but you and your dc will learn to live with.

Do not hide your emotions from your ds, if your ds sees you upset it shows him it is ok. I hope this makes sense.


lemisscared Fri 31-Oct-14 17:57:10

I am so very sorry for your loss sad fuck you cancer, fuck you to hell !!

Take things one day at a time. There is no right or wrong thing to say. Do you have people around you?

msrisotto Fri 31-Oct-14 17:58:53

God i'm so sorry for you both, he was so young sad

vestandknickers Fri 31-Oct-14 18:00:12

I am so, so sorry for your loss.

Nothing wise to say. Let your friends and family look after your and have lots of photos of your DH around for your son to look at when he wants to.

OutsSelf Fri 31-Oct-14 18:00:57

I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. I don't have any experience except that I have a 3yr old and a 1yr old and my instinct would be to speak as directly and clearly as you can bear. And probably expect to have to go through the same conversation about it many times. Would you like to practice on us?

areyoubeingserviced Fri 31-Oct-14 18:01:28

So sorry

confusedandemployed Fri 31-Oct-14 18:02:15

I have no better advice than has already been given, but I am terribly, terribly sorry for the loss of your DH. thanks

helzapoppin2 Fri 31-Oct-14 18:02:23

I'm so sorry, PetaO. My Dsis died two years ago, and the MacMillan nurse at the hospital was very helpful with talking to her children, and knowing what to say. The hospital will probably have one you can speak to. In the meantime, here's a virtual hug, and again, I'm so sorry.

SunnaStrangeInTheNeighbourhood Fri 31-Oct-14 18:05:08

So sorry for your loss.

exexpat Fri 31-Oct-14 18:06:22

I agree with what outsself says.

DH died suddenly when my DCs were 8 and 3. I told them very clearly that he had died (do not use any euphemisms like 'gone to sleep' or 'gone to heaven' - they can backfire and you will have to re-explain).

DS, who was 8, understood immediately, but DD, who was 3, hadn't really grasped the permanence of death and so I had to deal with questions about when/if Daddy would be coming back for a few weeks. I would guess that at 2, it will take a while for it to make sense to your DS. He may not even seem particularly bothered for a while, as he won't understand, but may pick up on your being upset.

It is tough, but you will get through it. Honesty is the best way, and it is OK to cry. Have you got family and friends around to support you?

Bowlersarm Fri 31-Oct-14 18:06:44

So sorry OP, for your loss.

dobby2001 Fri 31-Oct-14 18:07:15

Have the hospice offered any support? Most usually can help.
I am so sorry for your loss.

BigglesFliesUndone Fri 31-Oct-14 18:08:09

I am terribly sorry too sad. my father died when I was 2.5 and my mother never spoke of him again really - unless I asked and then she didn't want to. Just be as open as you can and make sure he knows it was nothing he had done and that daddy didn't want to leave him. I am thinking of you

outtolunchagain Fri 31-Oct-14 18:14:38

I am so so sorry ,what an appalling thing to happen , Winstons Wish are an organisation who have enormous expertise in dealing with and advising parents on how to deal with bereaved children .Their website has a lot of information on it and their helpline is very good .

MiddletonPink Fri 31-Oct-14 18:19:17

I'm so so sorry Peta.

I also lost my mum to gastric cancer when I was 4. The only thing I could advise regarding your son is that I was never told she had died/gone. I spent many years looking for her. I think it would have been kinder and wiser for my father to tell me she wasn't coming back.

But this is so raw for you right now. I'm sorry you are going through this. When you feel you can a call to Winstons Wish might just give you the help you need to explain things to your son.

Sending love

RufusTheReindeer Fri 31-Oct-14 18:27:22

Truly very sorry for your loss thanks

No useful advice but I see you are getting some very good advice already

Mcyorkshire1 Fri 31-Oct-14 18:29:59

I'm so, so sorry for your loss OP. I lost my husband unexpectedly whilst he was on a business trip 11 weeks ago. I had to tell our 2 and 3 yo little boys that their daddy had died and without a doubt it was the most difficult thing I have ever done. DH died from a heart attack and I explained in simple terms that the pipes leading to his heart had blocked which meant his heart had stopped working. I was very careful not to use sleeping terminology with them both. Ds (2) has been very accepting of everything whilst DS(3) has been very cross and very sad. Both reactions completely normal of course.

Please feel free to pm me if you need a shoulder to cry on or practical advice. You might also like to check out a book called "Is daddy coming back in a minute". Both boys really appreciated the simple explanations of death offered within it's pages. Hugs to you all at this incredibly difficult steps x x x

MadMaddox Fri 31-Oct-14 18:31:13

I am so sorry for your loss. I haven't anything useful to add to the wise words and advice above but couldn't click away from your post. Sending hugs

EATmum Fri 31-Oct-14 18:36:24

So very sorry for your loss OP. And to other posters in similar positions. I hope that you can get some support from the hospice for you and your children.

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