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Funeral - what to do with my toddler

(49 Posts)
Melyn Sun 20-Oct-19 22:10:35

Hey, wanted to know people's opinions on having a toddler (2.5 years old) attending a wake of a funeral, my Auntie (who was more like a grandmother to me) died suddenly after complications caused by cancer. The funeral is only a week away and with it being 110 miles away from home, my MIL & FIL are away and with no close family living near to where the funeral is (apart from my parents who will also be attending the funeral), we don't know what to do with my son. My dh wants to be there to support me but after a few comments of "You can't bring a child to a funeral etc", I'm stuck on what to do. Do you think it's appropriate for my toddler to be at the wake (so after the service and burial) so that dh can be there for part of the day to support me? Or should he stay home with ds?
No nasty comments please, just want opinions, thanks.

VioletCharlotte Sun 20-Oct-19 22:15:26

I'm sure it will be fine for him to attend. I've been to a number of funerals where small children have been at the wake. It's nice, actually, I think small children can be uplifting at such events. Obviously you'll need to keep an eye on him, not let him run riot, etc. Maybe just check with your parents and other family members to see what they think?

Serenschintte Sun 20-Oct-19 22:16:15

So sorry for your loss.
Personally I think it’s ok. But I have been taking my two to Church services since they were tiny and they went to a funeral when toddlers too. I would just sit at the back and/or on the end of the row next to the aisle. Then if toddler kicks off you can quietly go out. However I would say if you can have someone with you who can help if you are very upset. Also bring some small snacks - crackers, cut up fruit, raisins to whip out if needed and maybe a small book for distraction

isabellerossignol Sun 20-Oct-19 22:18:01

I'm Irish so I find it really odd that a child wouldn't go. It's the most natural thing in the world to me.

But I think you're going to get a mixed bag with answers.

PenelopeFlintstone Sun 20-Oct-19 22:19:27

Totally fine. It will gladden the hearts of the people there.
The service could be hard going for you but I see you’re not going to that; wake, no problem.

lancslass17 Sun 20-Oct-19 22:19:42

I took my ds to the wake of my great uncle, other family did the same. Ask what others are doing. Sometimes its a nice distraction. If your hubby comes and it doesnt feel right he could take your ds out or you could all leave if you need some air.

CherieBabySpliffUp Sun 20-Oct-19 22:20:18

You'll have your parents there to support you. Your DH can stay behind and look after your toddler

Scootingthebreeze Sun 20-Oct-19 22:20:28

I personally feel it would be fine for them to go, however I also understand a lot of people won't agree. I think if you take them with you then just accept you may get some looks but most will feel you have shown respect in making sure you attend

CTRL Sun 20-Oct-19 22:21:12

Of course you can take your toddler. Give him a phone or iPad with headphones so he can play a game and keep himself ammused and get on with it OP.

Good luck and sorry for your loss

ElspethFlashman Sun 20-Oct-19 22:24:20

I'm Irish so I'm bemused one would even ask the question. Of course you bring him. I would see no reason to bring him to the whole thing tbh, there's no reason to limit it to the meal afterwards. Kids that age are old enough to be fascinated by churches and generally will sit still gawping at everything. And if he gets restless your DH can just walk him down towards the porch for a run around out the front.

areyouafraidofthedark Sun 20-Oct-19 22:25:02

From personal experience I wouldn't take a toddler to the service. Can your partner and toddler meet you at the wake afterwards?

MiddleClassProblem Sun 20-Oct-19 22:25:06

I think you can take your toddler but it might preoccupy your mind.

I would go solo (and did recently for my grandmother’s), so long as you are close to others there to mutually support each other, and see DH and DC at the funeral after.

MiddleClassProblem Sun 20-Oct-19 22:25:18

*wake after

ArnoldBee Sun 20-Oct-19 22:29:48

Depends on your toddler and family dynamics - there are no hard and fast rules. Why don't you ask the funeral organiser?

ShiningTor Sun 20-Oct-19 22:31:46

I'm English and also bemused why anyone would ask, we always take our dc in our family.

Drum2018 Sun 20-Oct-19 22:32:50

He'll be grand at the wake after the service/burial. You will probably only be eating a few sandwiches or a carvery dinner and he won't have to be quiet. I've only been to one funeral where dinner was a more formal affair (and I've been to tonnes of funerals) - it was quite posh, there was even a menu. And there were 2 toddlers at that.

Even if you brought him to the church for the funeral service, your Dh could sit at the back with him and bring him outside if he got bored - unless it's raining in which case best to just let Dh keep him at your accommodation.

NailsNeedDoing Sun 20-Oct-19 22:34:57

If you're only planning on taking your child for the wake, then it's absolutely fine!

BackforGood Sun 20-Oct-19 22:37:17

You will get a variety of answers on MN.
Personally, I wouldn't take a toddler to the service, but, IME little ones are usually generally very welcome at the tea afterwards. However, it is different from family to family, so you should check with whoever is hosting the funeral what they would prefer, and then your dh can either stay home with your little one, or travel with you and take your dd for a walk round whilst the service is on and join you afterwards.

Branleuse Sun 20-Oct-19 22:39:48

I think it depends on whether your child would sit through it or be restless and want to run about. I think absolutely fine to have him at the wake, and probably ok to have him at the funeral too as long as he could be taken out if necessary. Really that depends on what is usual for your family though

misspiggy19 Sun 20-Oct-19 22:42:12

*I find it really odd that a child wouldn't go. It's the most natural thing in the world to me.*


Whoops75 Sun 20-Oct-19 22:43:00

Bring him.

My ds was 2 at a family funeral he was a wonderful addition and a reminder of the circle of life.

0hT00dles Sun 20-Oct-19 22:56:43

Being your ds. My dd's were 3(almost 4) and 3 weeks old. It was their dgm's funeral, but everyone loves kids. There were also a tonne of 'cousins' there for the almost 4 year old.

If she meant so much to you, I'd take him.

It's a nice closure.

Allgirlskidsanddogs Sun 20-Oct-19 22:58:20

What do her very closest family say? If they don’t mind then it would be fine. Take lots of quiet treats and distractions.

What would she have said? Some people leave explicit instructions for situations such as this.

Finally, as you were so close, do you think that you can hold it together enough so as not to upset your child?

Sorry for your loss.

ThatWasThat Sun 20-Oct-19 23:39:22

Why would you not?

NavyBerry Sun 20-Oct-19 23:44:22

Would your auntie mind him being there?

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