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DD was holding her great grandad's hand as he passed.

(19 Posts)
mckenzie Mon 30-May-16 17:56:17

She is 11. We knew it was nearly time so MIL, SIL, my DD and I were there (with our dog who he loved to bits) and he chose that time to let go. He was 97.
DD is understandably upset but I'm wandering if her being there with him will have any potential repercussions that I need to be on the lookout for.
I might well be over thinking this of course and need to relax.
We've told her how comforting it hopefully was for GGdad to be surrounded by so many people who loved him and how extra special that the last face he saw was hers.
Although he was DH's grandad I loved him and cared for him as my own and I found it a really peaceful death; he'd chosen the time (he had stopped eating and drinking), it was on his terms.

Am I worrying needlessly do you think?

Toooldtobearsed Mon 30-May-16 18:01:28

No, I don't think you are. I have no doubt that no matter how sensible, caring and mature she is, it will prey on her mind.

My mum died last week. We were not there when she died, we were with her the night before, having had a phone call to say the time was nigh. She waited until we had given up and gone home before slipping away, but the time we spent with her at the end is burnt into my memory.

I would keep talking about it, over and over again, accentuating how domforting and loving the whole situation was. It will help to normalise and reassure. It is a wonderful thing to have happened, but I think I would be very aware of how she might process what has happened.

Helenluvsrob Mon 30-May-16 18:01:55

You are overthinking it. It was a hugely special thing for her to do for him. Peaceful and he knew he was loved.

Nothing bad / worrying happened. An expected death as the fulfilment of a life well lived. The best we can all ask for.

We hide death too much now. A generation or 2 ago it was as normal as birth and it should be now.

Ds ( ok he is 20 I know ) sat with me the night my dad died. It was amazing to have him there and that he was happy to be there. It was peaceful too .

Toooldtobearsed Mon 30-May-16 18:03:02


mckenzie Mon 30-May-16 18:03:05

Thank you tooold and I'm so sorry for your loss.
I'll keep talking.

mckenzie Mon 30-May-16 18:04:04

Thank you Helen for your reply too.

Toooldtobearsed Mon 30-May-16 18:06:24

helen I agree with you - for adults. I agree that death is normal and should not be the taboo it is right now, but for an eleven year old, no matter how well handled and loving it was, it could still prey on her mind, better to be aware and handle at the time than try to mop up a week or two later.

FlyChickie Mon 30-May-16 18:06:48

My mum passed away peacefully earlier this year with dad holding her hand, her head in my hands and the rest of the family all around her. I think of it as the last final gift she gave us and that gives me great comfort. Maybe thinking of it as a precious gift could help your daughter? Oh, and talk talk talk. You cannot talk enough about it flowers

Toooldtobearsed Mon 30-May-16 18:07:44

And deepest sympathies to you mckenzie. Sometimes it is hard being the adult, isn't it? Take care of yourself flowers

stonecircle Mon 30-May-16 18:12:13

Since my dad died a few years ago I've found it a huge comfort to think about being with him when he died. My mum died this afternoon and sadly I wasn't with her but my sister was and I'm hoping she will get the same level of comfort from being there.

I know she's only 11 but hopefully it will be the same for your DD X

mckenzie Mon 30-May-16 18:17:24

Oh stonecircle, I'm so sorry for,your loss too. And flychickie.
Thank you all for posting.

rubyslippers Mon 30-May-16 18:20:12


I was with my grandmother when she died last month

It did affect me profoundly / not in a bad way but more in a what did I just see way

It was very peaceful but it has stayed with me

Talk to your DD / let her know she can chat to you. I felt very much like I needed to debrief after - a bit like when I had my children I needed to talk it out

It's a really profound and rare moment to witness

Toooldtobearsed Mon 30-May-16 18:25:18

Ruby has phrased it beautifully. Sympathies to everyone who has been bereaved lately flowers

Helenluvsrob Mon 30-May-16 18:31:37

Well said ruby. Talking about it is vital. Also point her to dumbledores amazing take on death " to the well ordered mind ,death is but the next great adventure ". Makes a lot of sense to me.

YorkieDorkie Mon 30-May-16 19:43:04

I think your DD has witnessed a remarkable thing. Not every death is a tragic end - she's been present for a beautiful death and crucially she has helped! Her DGGD will have had so much love and peace in his heart and I think she has done a truly amazing thing for him. I bet so many others wish they could have done the same for a loved one. Just keep an eye out for her emotions in the next fortnight, tell her how amazing she has been! Sorry for your loss flowers.

GasLightShining Mon 30-May-16 23:48:56

I am so sorry for your loss.

She is understandably upset and would be if she hadn't been there. I think others are right in that you need to keep talking to her

There are charities which deal with children and bereavement. Perhaps you could contact one for advice on whether there is anything extra you can do.

mckenzie Tue 31-May-16 15:47:02

Thank you for all the posts. There were no issues last night at all and interestingly, so far today she hasn't mentioned him at all.
We'll talk over dinner I'm sure.
I'm pleased DD was present; like many have said it was the best a death can be and a special bond to have with a special man.
I certainly feel privileged to have been there.

JeffreySadsacIsUnwell Tue 31-May-16 16:09:28

My DB was with our GM when she died. I was at work - three weeks into my first graduate job and had moved away from home. He'd have been a teenager rather than 11; I think he was a bit shaken and subdued that evening, but absolutely fine the day after and, I think, quietly proud he'd been there. Her death had been expected for a while - no illness, just old age in her 90s, body gradually getting weaker and giving up, sleeping more and more and then just stopping breathing. So nothing traumatic. I think the shock for my brother was the realisation that this is natural; hard for a teenage boy who thinks he's immortal to come to terms with.

For DB, I think the pride and acceptance came fairly quickly as he was the one there - I had always been the dutiful one, visiting her in the home most days after school, phoning from university, coming back for weekends to take her out for trips, etc. It gave him great quiet pleasure that he'd been able to do something mature, responsible for her.

(No, I don't feel that I should have been there - I did what I could when I could, it so happened that it was DB's turn to be there for her, and TBH, I'd probably not have been the best person at that time, DB is a lot calmer and less emotional than I am! Maybe your DD was the best person for the job too, and her GGF felt this?)

Maybe, if appropriate, you could ask her if there's any way she'd like to remember him? Or have some input into the funeral in some suitable way - choosing the flowers, for example? I was a similar age when my GF died and was encouraged to choose flowers - it was helpful talking to my parents about which flowers, which colours I was choosing and why I thought GF would like them. Lots of stories that evening.

flowers to both you and your DD.

mckenzie Tue 31-May-16 17:21:49

I love that idea about choosing something for the funeral. Thank you. I'll speak to DD tonight. And I think a bench in the garden, in his memory, might be just the thing for all of us.

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