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not bereavement yet but i could do with some advise please

(8 Posts)
BlueDragonfly Sun 03-Aug-08 23:21:31

my Gran is seriously ill in hospital. Although she has plateaued(sp?), she will not survive much longer

My dad is trying to hold everyone up and when she lets go it will hit him very very hard. I am the oldest of the grandchildren (grandad died a few years ago) so what can i do to help? How do i explain to my 5 and 3 yo that great nana has died?

Dad is trying to co ordinate updates and relatives travel arrangem,ents-we have family in Australia that i have never even heard of never mind met!

Dads Sister(My Aunt) is already in bits and couldn't even agree or disagree to a ward move this evening

Sidge Sun 03-Aug-08 23:32:15

I'm sorry your Gran is so poorly sad

Is your dad the sort of person that copes by organising everyone else? You may find that it's not until after a funeral that it hits him. I think all you can do is be there for him, try and share the load (if he'll let you and if you think you can, whilst coping with your own grief) and tell him it's ok to stop and just sit with her a while and maybe have a cry.

Regaring telling the children, I believe you have to be honest and tell them she has died (no euphemisms). Maybe explain that her body was old and poorly and couldn't work any more so it has died which means she won't be alive any more, eg walking, talking etc. Depending on your beliefs you may want to tell them that she is in Heaven/up on a star/in the sky.

I hope she has a peaceful end and I wish you strength.

BlueDragonfly Sun 03-Aug-08 23:37:45

He coped with my grandads death by being there for my Gran. He will have no parents now and my half brother and sister now live with him (they are 16 and14) and they lost their mum not so long ago.

I don't really know. I should get some sleep really, i am not able to go to hosp until DP finishes work at 2 ish 2mo and DS3 is breastfed so its all a bit tricky

Have offered DS3's room as we have just moved and he isn't in it yet. I live close to the hosp, just feel stuck, dunno what to do.

I feel like its my role as 'big sister' to look after the others and prop up my dad

BlueDragonfly Sun 03-Aug-08 23:39:23

sorry, i am not making sense am i?

AM going to get some sleep now

TY for reply Sidge

MeMySonAndI Sun 03-Aug-08 23:42:24

Take one day at a time, help as much as possible, but give some space to cry.

As for the children... they don´t understand death the way we do, and are able to cope with it much better than we do, but as someone said, don´t use euphemisms, straight to the point and in a level they can understand.

A big hug.

BoysAreLikeDogs Sun 03-Aug-08 23:42:57

BDF, I am so sorry to hear this

i agree that when the time comes, tell the children the truth, that she was ill, and that she has sadly died. Nothing about falling asleep or going away, it's too confusing. Be prepared for questions, which can be hard.

Supporting your father is the key at the moment, how much help he needs in co ordinating everyone is something that only you can judge.

I wish you strength.

cathcat Sun 03-Aug-08 23:46:54

Also wishing you strength. And don't feel you have to prop everyone else up, your feelings are important too. Hope your DP is supporting you, keep talking to him. My dad is seriously ill and I find it is more straightforward to say "No, actually I'm not alright..." although hard to say too IYSWIM. x

zazen Sun 03-Aug-08 23:52:58

I am sorry to hear that your nan is poorly.
I hope she is in no pain and will get through her death as easily as possible.
Sometimes death can be harder for those left behind especially when the person dying is elderly and poorly.

And sometimes we make it harder also by taking too much responsibility and 'looking after' other adults who have chosen to do certain things.

I think you've had some splendid advice about not using euphemisms like going asleep or going away - I use the words - 'S/He died and is now a star up in the heavens twinkling with love for you' when I describe death of family members to my 4 year old DD.

She gets it, and can sleep, not thinking she'll never wake up - and I can leave the room wihtout her thinking that I'll never come back.

Clear direct language is best with kids.

And take a step back from assuming responsibility for other adults reactions and experience of this sad event also -
Think: if you are in charge of them, how will they ever process their own grief? You won't actually be doing them a favour, and you'll be masking / delaying your own grief with 'busy-ness'.

Take it easy and hugs your way.

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