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Children at funerals

(21 Posts)
Sofabitch Tue 30-Aug-16 07:45:14

My lovely nan died and I'm completly heart broken. The funeral is today and up until now all the children were coming. But DD who is 7 has declared that she doesn't want to go. Now I don't want to force. But I think funerals are helpful in acceptance and making things real.

Do you think I should encorage her to go. They were close or is 7 just too young for it to be problem? So far i dont think she's really understood.

To complicate matters we are on holiday so will have to take a break. I'm not sure if it's more that she doesn't want to miss the holiday. Rather than doesn't want to go to the funeral?

drinkyourmilk Tue 30-Aug-16 07:47:20

Ask her why she doesn't want to go? Is she scared?
Who would look after her if she didn't go?
Ultimately I think it's wrong to force her to go to something so emotive.

drinkyourmilk Tue 30-Aug-16 07:48:30

I forgot to say, I'm so sorry for your loss. flowers

Sofabitch Tue 30-Aug-16 07:50:41

We are with friends. So someone to look after her isn't a problem.

I've asked and she just says she doesn't want to be sad. I think her feelings are very linked to mine and when I'm sad so is she.

Nyborg Tue 30-Aug-16 07:51:25

Could she come to the wake rather than the funeral? That might give her the chance to see others grieving and talk about her sadness without the formality of a funeral.

That said, my sister and I went to lots of funerals when we were young (big family, very involved with the church) and I think that was helpful- they are still sad for us, of course, but not stressful and gruelling by default, as some adults find them.

MewlingQuim Tue 30-Aug-16 07:57:44

DD has been to several family funerals. She is only 4, I did worry that she would be upset at the last one but she has been ok.

I take her because I believe funerals are not only about saying goodbye to the dead, but also about comforting the living. DD has been able to bring a smile to her relatives even at such sad times. Life goes on, as they say.

Maybe explain to your DD how her presence may help comfort those who are grieving?

Sorry for your loss flowers

bibbitybobbityyhat Tue 30-Aug-16 08:20:41

I think at 7 you are in charge of where your dd goes and doesn't go. She should definitely go to the funeral. Sorry that you've lost your lovely nan flowers

TheDuchessofDukeStreet Tue 30-Aug-16 08:24:00

If she doesn't want to go, I would really urge you not to make her. You could do something together afterwards to say goodbye, such as laying flowers.

TheDuchessofDukeStreet Tue 30-Aug-16 08:24:51

And very sorry for your loss.x

otter2954 Tue 30-Aug-16 08:26:08

Agree with bibbity

Making a death all about yourself is a bad habit to get into.

Sorry for your loss.

Hulababy Tue 30-Aug-16 08:26:38

I would give her a choice and I wouldn't force her there either.

For me a funeral is not always needed to say goodbye, especially for children unless they choose to go themselves.

Dd didn't go to her great grandma's funeral (neither did me or dh as we were not in the country at the time.) we did our own little memorial thing together, remembered some stories, wrote names in the sand and released a balloon with a message. At 10y she also choose not to go to her teacher's funeral and we did similar.

Dd had no problem with saying goodbye and understanding and acknowledging techie death/loss. For her the funeral wasn't necessary for that.

Lovefromhull Tue 30-Aug-16 08:29:11

Her choice I think. Also- you get to concentrate on the funeral rather than caring for/ worrying about her. She already feels sad. I don't understand the need for children to attend funerals so that they are used to them.

Sofabitch Tue 30-Aug-16 08:30:05

Thank you for the advice. We have decided not to take her. But to hold a smaller memorial where the ashes are to be scattered.

She is getting really distressed at the thought of going. I think its all just overwhelming for her.i was more worried about her regretting it in the future.

There is no wake. My grandad did not want one. (That's a whole separate family issue).

We are a small family so this is actually my first family funeral since I was about her age.

Thanks for the advice.

CannotEvenDeal Tue 30-Aug-16 08:31:56

Sorry for your loss OP but I'm really surprised that there are posters who are recommending you to force your 7yo to attend a funeral.

Personally that seems quite harsh to me and would not have crossed my mind. If you're still ambivalent then I personally wouldn't make her attend.

CannotEvenDeal Tue 30-Aug-16 08:32:52

Sorry for the cross post, I think you made the right choice flowers

CointreauVersial Tue 30-Aug-16 08:35:06

Sorry you lost your GM. I definitely agree you shouldn't force her to go - she's quite young, and funerals are daunting and formal, with quite a bit of emotion on display. Not going won't make a difference as to how she remembers her GGM.

And there wil be plenty more funerals in the future.

otter2954 Tue 30-Aug-16 08:35:25

Thing is cannot, it could be that if she wasn't forced, OP wouldn't be able to go herself. (Presumably this isn't the case as OP has said she's not going to force it.)

I'm of the opinion that if you treat it as an everyday, although sad, occurrence, it's no bad thing. People are living longer and some children get well into adulthood without ever having to have dealt with bereavement and are woefully underequipped when they do, not just in the practicalities but on how to deal with it emotionally as well.

bibbitybobbityyhat Tue 30-Aug-16 08:39:04

Hulababy - presumably your dd didn't attend the funeral because neither you nor your dh were going [confused.

Am surprised at the amount of choice giving going on here. It's not do you want ham or cheese, it's a rather bigger thing than that!

Sofabitch Tue 30-Aug-16 19:43:33

I think the added complication was the 3 hour drive each way due to the fact we are on holiday.

As it was I'm glad I didn't her. It was a long stressful day. Instead she went to the beach.

I'm not quite back to her yet. But certainly ready for a large gin and a big hug.

Funerals seem tough. No right answer with children. :-( thanks everyone for the advice and best wishes

Hulababy Tue 30-Aug-16 20:16:28

bibbity - yes, true. But my comment was more that I don't believe that everyone, especially children, always need a funeral to say goodbye or to help with the grieving and healing process.

Hulababy Tue 30-Aug-16 20:17:14

sofa - I hope the funeral went well today. I am sure you made the right decision for your daughter, at this time. Take care and enjoy that G&T later.

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