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Children and death

(7 Posts)
CommonNortherner Sat 18-Jul-09 13:18:19

I don't know what to do. My dh is currently flying out to the US because his dad is pretty much dying (mil has been too upset so we're not sure the full story but it sounds bad). Anyway, he desperately wants me to be there for him, and of course I want that. But we have a 5 year old son who is very confused about it all at the moment and I don't know whether it would be better to shield him from it or not. MiL is either incredibly upset or taking medication to cope, dh will need to be there for her (he's an only child), and I don't know if I can cope with being moral support as well as dealing with a highly active 5 year old, all the while being upset myself.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Sat 18-Jul-09 13:30:50

When you say 'shield him from it' am not sure what you mean, exactly?

At 5 years old he will be able to pick up on what is happening, Daddy won't be there, you will be upset. Tell him the truth in 5-year old terms - 'Granpa is sick and Daddy has to go and help look after him, and take care of Grandma as well, as she is very sad'.

Unfortunately, you will have to cope. Its part of the territory being a mother and wife. And you will be at home, so presumably will have your own friends (if not family) to turn to. Not easy, but you can be strong.

Sparks Sat 18-Jul-09 13:41:18

You can't really shield them from it. Little kids are feelings sponges - they soak up everything. He will pick up that you and dh are upset.

Far better to tell him what's happening, in simple terms he can understand, then to have him imagining all kinds of horrible stuff.

bigchris Sat 18-Jul-09 13:42:30

I think she means shield him from it by not taking him to the US? That is the dilemma

CommonNortherner Sat 18-Jul-09 13:43:09

Oh I have told him about it in 5 year old terms. I meant shield him from very upset adults as we will be staying at MiL's and have no base of our own.

I think I didn't phrase the question right. What I mean is should my son and I also fly over to America? DH wants me to be there physically to support him. I am not sure this is a good idea with regards to our son.

Thank you for replying and sorry for not being clear, my head is a mess at the moment.

Sparks Sat 18-Jul-09 14:01:00

OK I get it. That all sounds really difficult.

Is there no way you can stay somewhere else, other than MIL's? Even for part of the time? Another relative or friend?

If it were me, I would go, but make it clear that my primary role is to look after ds, only secondarily to support dh, etc.

CommonNortherner Sat 18-Jul-09 14:36:04

Have managed to talk it over with mil too and she thinks it's probably best ds doesn't come.

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