Awnswering questions to my son about his grandads death .. please please help.

(11 Posts)
xkatyx Mon 01-Mar-10 09:55:32


My son has just turned 7 and he is a highly sensitive little boy, and such a kind loveable child.

My dad died a year ago of lung cancer, my son and dad were sooo close, so much so that my son was the first person my dad asked for when he woke up from a induced coma. Everywhere my dad went my little boy would follow, my dad thought the world of him, and when my dad found out he had cancer he had to go for an opperation, it was supposed to be a straight forward operation and my dad was going to be home in a week. So my dad explained to my son he had to go to hospital as he has a bad back and needs to get it sorted and kissed him and promised he would see him in a week.

Unfortunetly my dad didnt come back, the operation went terribly worng and my dad was in ITCU for 4 weeks and died.

It took me a few day's to be able to tell my son about his grandad dying and when i did he was distraught .. asking why his grandad said he was comming back and isn't.

A year on and he talks about his grandad all the timne , we all do we try and encourage him it's good to talk, cry , laugh about grandad and share happy memories.

Last night out of the blue my son said he was scared of dying like grandad .. he is really worrying about it. and i honestly did not know how to awnswer it apart from reassure him he is fine nothing will happen to him, he is safe etc, also saying grandad was very poorly, now he freaks out of he gets poorly i dont know how to explain it so that it does not worry him. I'm sorry this is such a long thread and would be grateful for any advice .. thank you


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ShinyAndNew Mon 01-Mar-10 10:01:28

Dd1 lost her cousin last year to cancer and she often says things like your son. I think it is normal. She worrys about going to school incase her little sister dies while she is at school sad

I just tell her that her cousin was very, very poorly and it is unsual for people (especially) children to become so poorly and normally the doctors can help when you are sick and you get better.

I have just arranged counselling through the school for her. Perhaps someone at your sions school could help? Dd1's school is in touch with a group called Acorn, who specialise in bereavement counselling for yoing children, but I am not sure if this a national scheme or just something local to me.

SirBoobAlot Mon 01-Mar-10 10:04:51

I'm so sorry for your loss Is this the first serious loss your son has encountered? I only ask because I lost both my grandmothers when I was 7ish, and remember feeling exactly the same way you are describing your DS as doing. It did ease off after a while.

I don't have any advice, but I really hope things work out for you all, and that this is a part of the grieving process. Its really good that he is able to talk and laugh (and cry) about his grandad.

xkatyx Mon 01-Mar-10 10:06:39

Thank you ShinyAndNew i think i may look into it. i ahte the thought of my son being scared of dying, he i sonly 7 and he shouldnt even be thinking this way.

I'm so sorry to hear DD1 cousin died, trying to explain a child's death must be terrible.

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xkatyx Mon 01-Mar-10 10:10:12

Yes this is his first loss, :-( he just seams to be a diffrent child since my dad died.

I'm actually sitting here crying as i type this.

I suffer from deppression and im a HUGE worrier, i just hope my son isn't the same .. i hate the thought of him going through deppression or anything, i was awake all last night thinking about it and what i can do :-(

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Lucyellensmumma Mon 01-Mar-10 11:24:48

xkatyx some unmumsnetty hugs coming your way.

I think if you go to the library there will be some books to help with this, books that you can read to children ratehr than what to do books. My DD1 was 15 when we lost my dad and she never talks about him they were very close. It makes me sad and i wish she would, but its obv too painful for her. So its excellent that your little lad feels secure enough to talk about his fears. Its very difficult i think because you don't want to dismiss it and you don't want to turn it into a huge issue. Maybe have a word with your sons school - they might have someone equipped to deal with it.

You are doing all you can do, being a loving and caring mummy.

I know your dad was quite young (from your other thread) but maybe talk to him about people getting old etc and that its the way of the world (albeit harshly unfair) and that just because someone close to us dies, he mustn't feel like he is. You said you have a fear of dying - really feel you need to talk to someone about this, i know exactly how you feel and its so consuming. Your son is not going to have depression, you are bereaved and its a struggle - its a natural process that sadly we all have to go through at some point in our lives.

look at ways of your son remembering the positives about his grand dad, he must feel very angry with him, i know i feel angry with my dad sometimes - its like "WTF, i cant manage without you - how dare you leave me here on my own" again, very natural and something that i think will pass.

You sound like a lovely caring mum - so sorry for your loss xx

xkatyx Mon 01-Mar-10 13:24:12

Thank you very much Lucyellensmumma
The book's sound like a good idea, i'm going to have a look online, and also wednesday i help out at the school, i' going to have a word with his teacher see what here views are on him when he is at school etc, maybe they have any support groups for the kids there.

That's is so sad that your dd1 doesn't talk about her granddad so much :-( but everyone deals with everything diffrently, i myself dont talk about anything unless my son brings it up, i find it easier to just pretend all is well which could maybe the reason i have sufferd with deppression.

I spoke to my son and said about when you get old and granddad was old and is heaven where he is happy and all better now. But then he gets upset saying nanny is the same age as granddad does that mean she is going to die, then i found myself having to tell porkies and that granddad was alot older than nanny etc and nanny is only 30 and grandad was 90 i felt really bad lying but he was so upset at the thought of loosing his nanny i didnt know what to say.
But im going to get on and look for these books now.

and the anger you feel i felt that too, i also have terrible dreams which are so vivid and horrible.

thank you sooooo much, you have been a real big help to me over the weekend, like i said im changing my name to "miss worry"

and i am sooo sorry for your loss too, just hope 1 day there will a cure for cancer


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travellingwilbury Mon 01-Mar-10 17:00:46

xkatyx I am so sorry you are ahving to go through this . I know how hard it is to watch your son so upset and feel so helpless .

A book I have found helpful is Waterbugs and dragonflies . It is aimed at young children and in basic terms talks about things changing and moving on to a place we can no longer see them but they are still around . I don't know if you have done the heaven thing but I know my son finds it a comfort to think of people being in heaven rather than just dissapearing .

xkatyx Tue 02-Mar-10 22:05:10

thank you travellingwilbury

I have those book's on order, yes my son knows about heaven he thinks his granddad is a star :-) which i think is a lovely thought. he sais good night to him every night.

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NannyDonna Fri 05-Mar-10 07:48:22

my nan died last year after falling over at home,my then 6year old son found it so hard to deal with.he saw her on the thursday evening and she died on the monday morning.

He became angry and life was boring to him for weeks/months he would cry uncontrollably about her saying nothing makes him happy anymore only having her back.
i would talk to him and tell him how much she loved him and how happy he made thing that he could not get over and still to this day is he did not say he loved her the last time we saw when he goes to bed he tells us 2/4 times he loves us,my heart breaks for him.As a adult i can sort of deal with death but to a child it must be so hard to understand why.
He went for counselling at school and it help so much.
Love to your son and you.x

xkatyx Fri 05-Mar-10 16:42:03

Oh that is so sad, im sorry to hear about your nan :-(
Poor little fella.


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