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How to tell a child their parent has committed suicide

(14 Posts)
AdvicePlease01 Tue 04-Nov-14 22:10:01

Long time lurker here. Have name changed.My lovely friend's ex dh killed himself last week. They have 2 dds, aged 8 and 9. She has told her girls that Daddy was sick and he died. Does anyone have any advice please on how she can tell them what happened. Are they too young to know the truth? When should she tell them? My friend is in pieces, she is so worried about her children and doesn't know what to do for the best. Any advice is most gratefully recieved. Thanks

ChippingInAutumnLover Tue 04-Nov-14 22:15:22

I would tell them (now), because it would be far, far worse to hear it from someone else sad

Poor kids sad

It is probably best if she phones Winston's Wish and they can help with how to tell them. I know what I'd say, but I don't think it's right to just blurt that out here incase it's not for the best.

Poor love - my heart goes out to her
x

RandomMess Tue 04-Nov-14 22:16:39

I'd get her to speak to Winston's Wishes - yes she needs to tell them rather than it be a secret.

starlight1234 Tue 04-Nov-14 22:17:27

someone posted on here about similar topic and a lot of people recommended a place could of been Winston wish which were great for advise.

I think at 8 &9 they have to know the truth though as other children around will know and I think that would be worse than finding out from your parent..Although all of it is awful

Schoolaroundthecorner Tue 04-Nov-14 22:17:27

Winston's wish have some good advice about talking to children about suicide

www.winstonswish.org.uk/when-someone-has-died-through-suicide/

So sorry to hear about your friend's DH.

Schoolaroundthecorner Tue 04-Nov-14 22:18:28

Sorry ex-DH I should have written. My heart goes out to her and the children.

AdvicePlease01 Tue 04-Nov-14 22:26:29

Thanks for replying everyone. Winston's Wish is clearly the place for help then.I will let my friend know.
This is just a shit situation. Those poor little girls

ILoveOnionRings Tue 04-Nov-14 22:44:21

We also had to go through this in the summer holidays. DS is 18 and hasn't really had contact with his Dad over the last few years. We were notified by letter and the funeral had already taken place.

We talked to DS and said that his dad had passed away unexpectedly and the funeral had taken place and then showed him the letter. DS never really questioned this as he said he never really knew him.

I did find that I was deeply upset and for quite a few weeks it was on my mind. I felt guilt that maybe I should have helped him out more even though I had not seen ExP, apart from fleetingly, for a few years.

My mom dad and SIL know the truth but the rest of the family again were told he passed away unexpectedly.

It is an awful place to be in and I really feel for your friend and the decisions she now has to make. She will need looking after flowers

AdvicePlease01 Tue 04-Nov-14 22:51:48

How sad for your son, Onion Rings. I hope he is ok. It just feels like such a terrible experience for young minds to go through. My friend is very worried what the long term effects of this will be for her girls. They worshipped him.

LousterTheRooster Wed 05-Nov-14 04:39:06

I would suggest to your friend that she tells her children the truth as soon as she can. It's not a nice job but it's better in the long run. When my son killed himself last year we decided not to tell our younger two the truth (ages 7 and 9), instead telling them that their brother had died peacefully and unexpectedly in his sleep. We thought they were too young to know the truth and we were in shock and disbelief anyway. It was a mistake. When my son came home from school a few weeks later he told me that one of his 'friends' had said that Louis had killed himself and he'd done so because he hated us all. How I wish that he'd been armed with the truth. We did a lot of internet research on how to break this news to a child then sat them both down and explained that yes, Louis had killed himself, that he had an illness in his brain that we couldn't see and that he didn't know how to deal with but that he loved us all so very much. I would suggest also that your friend has someone there with her for support. My husband and I just held each other for ages afterwards and cried for a long time knowing that we had just taken away their innocence by having to tell them that their brother who they cherished and looked up to had taken his own life. However, I wish it was something we hadn't kept from them in the first place. Condolences and good luck to your friend.

AdvicePlease01 Wed 05-Nov-14 18:51:46

Louster,
I am so sorry for your loss flowers
Thanks for taking the time to post

LilyTheSavage Wed 05-Nov-14 19:31:33

Louster is one brave lady. thanks

OP - I've used Winston's Wish when the little brother of a child in my class died suddenly and I needed help. I've also used them to get help for me to help a child in my class who's father had died. They are completely brilliant.

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

Itsfab Thu 06-Nov-14 18:35:05

Louster - I am so sorry for you loss flowers.

Did you mean to use your son's name? I just wanted to mention it in case you wanted to have your post edited for anonymity.

LousterTheRooster Fri 07-Nov-14 10:19:41

Hi Itsfab, don't worry, yes I meant to use his name, I've used it a lot on this bereavement section x

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