Helping dc's with schoolfriend's death?

(9 Posts)
Weegiemum Tue 06-May-08 23:23:41

My dd1 is 8 (primary 3) and ds is 6 (primary 1).

Since last sumer we have known that a classmate of dd1 (C) has been ill with a brain tumor. When dd1 asked, we confirmed to her that it was terminal (though school did not want to say this, dd1 is a doctor's daughter and death has always been a discussion point in our house - she asked herself if he was going to die).

Sadly, C died this morning. It seems to really have hit both of them hard. They have had to deal with the death of my Gran last year, but the fact that she was in her 80's made it easier - she was old.

C was 7. I'm a Christian and believe in afterlife, but it just seems so cruel for his family.

Dd1 seems OK about it - for some reason ds is really, really bothered.

How do I help them come to terms with the death of a peer?

(obv no bother with dd2, still in nursery)

OP’s posts: |
billybass Tue 06-May-08 23:28:36

Ooooh my two dc's have had to deal with sudden death of a school friend 3 years ago. They still ask questions and talk about it now.I got a workbook called grief encounters for them.Best wishes smile

DefinitelyNotMARINAWheeler Tue 06-May-08 23:32:31

Ask the school how they will handle it. Will C's family want a memorial service for their daughter, or some other way for schoolfriends to remember C and be allowed to express their feelings about her illness and death?
Maybe later on, the school might want to have some kind of lasting tribute to C, such as a friendship bench or a tree in the grounds?
Or perhaps, as with the dc's school (although they were not at the school at the same time), everyone could fundraise for Macmillan or CLIC Sargent?
The charity Winston's Wish has a lot of helpful guidance and information in this sort of desperately sad situation.

Weegiemum Tue 06-May-08 23:35:49

The school are having a memorial service later this week for him.

Hopefully they will do something more lasting. they are fundraising for playground renovations atm, so migt include this in the plans.

I feel so sad for his Mummy /

OP’s posts: |
mymatemarmite Tue 06-May-08 23:39:42

Weegie, I feel for you. I have DD who is 13 (14 next week) and her "bestest" friend ever Grandfather died this morning.sad I actually had DDs friend staying here whilst parents and Grandmother were with Grandfather.

My DD is feeling really guilty because she feels more upset because of friends GF, than she did of her GF dying several yrs back.

I have told DD that the reason she feels upset is that she was actually closer to friends GF than her own. DD has been friends with this girl for almost all their life, they are so close.

I dread tomorrow at the mo, DD has finally gone to sleep about 20 mins a go, could hear her sobbing - I know it has hit DD hard as this young lady does not show emotion.
Plus DD is in the middle of her SATs!

gigglewitch Wed 07-May-08 00:03:49

so sad sad
a child i taught died just this time last year, also from a brain tumour. She was in her last year of primary. All we can do is allow the children to express what they need to, all attended her funeral, and they have set up a special garden in school with the benches and planters in her favourite colour. there was also a big send-off of balloons to mark her 11th birthday, which was two weeks after her funeral.
our children also wrote 'memory cards' of something positive that they did, liked or remembered about her, and the big envelope of them went to her parents who really appreciated it. We held a theatre show and hung a sparkly star above the stage, with her name on.
I don't know whether any of this at all would be appropriate for your childrens school or your own DC, but the biggest thing i learned from such a sad situation is that everything they ask, try to answer as best you can, and let them talk about death in their own way - it's how they process it. They have all worried about every single headache since, and when they've been lying on their arm during the night and woken with it tingly you can just see the worry on their faces. lots of reasoning and patience needed. Soooooo hard.

mymatemarmite Wed 07-May-08 00:10:02

I am rather worried about my own DD, its her birthday next week, she has had a count down for the last 6 mths! Literally. She is now dreading it in case its the funeral. I have tried to tell her that its special and if that is the chosen day then she should feel very proud that it is her special day and it will always be remembered, not only as her birthday but as her friends GF funeral day. I feel for all the family, as I know how much my DD is cut up over this.

Califrau Wed 07-May-08 00:36:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Weegiemum Tue 13-May-08 18:50:55

Cali, that would be helpful.

School had a "ceilidh" for C, where they sang his fave songs, had a table with all his fave things on (eg Dr Who!) and shared memories (at the same time as the funeral, which was on an island a couple of hundred miles away and attended by his teachers and some school representatives).

Our kids are doing OK, but it is so hard to explain. "Why did C have to die?" is a question I have no answer for.

Though I have used the sock analogy, cant remember which mnettter it was, but it has been really helpful esp to ds (6).

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in