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How do u help kids with the reality of bereavement

(12 Posts)
sma1978 Fri 20-Oct-17 17:54:13

I'm sorry this is is gonna be a downer. Can anyone offer some advice. my Nan is 97. Finally age is getting the better of her, she has gone down hill quite quickly, the doctors said she is unlikely to live much longer, even though she has no medical issues that can be treated.
I'm really worried about telling my DD age 10, she is a very sensitive girl. As an example, last year her class visited an old peoples home to sing some carols. She was so overwhelmed she burst into tears and couldn't sing. When we had to put our dog to sleep 3 years ago, she was inconsolable for hours, and ended up falling asleep rather than actually stopping. This was her first experience of losing a loved one. I've always been honest with her about death as it is just a part of life. Maybe that's were I went wrong.
How can I break this too her, and help her deal with it. Whilst trying to deal with it myself. Has anyone got useful advice.Thank you.

2014newme Fri 20-Oct-17 17:57:25

Presumably as your grandmother was 97 you've been preparing your daughter for this moment for some time so it should not be too much of a shock.

Changerofname987654321 Fri 20-Oct-17 17:58:03

Winston wish may have some advice on their website.

There is a good news round special report video in dealing with bereavement.

grasspigeons Fri 20-Oct-17 18:03:45

I am very sorry to hear of this. Does your school have a home school link worker? They have often done bereavement training and would do a half hour with your daughter. They could also point you in the direction of books suitable for her age. It's a shame it's half term as it would be good to chat before things change.

2014newme - I spent 4 years preparing for my Grandmothers death, whilst she was in a nursing home. It was still a huge shock.

Notreallyarsed Fri 20-Oct-17 18:04:10

When my mum died in June, we had spoken with the kids (10, 4 and 3) about how grannie’s body was getting weaker, and how she didn’t have the energy to fight any more so one day very soon she would die. They saw her a few weeks before she died, in the hospice, so had some understanding of how frail and poorly she had become, but we kept them away when she began to really decline rapidly.

When she died, DP and I sat down individually with each of them and explained that grannie had died, and that she was free from all the pain and suffering she’d been through and was in heaven (I don’t believe, but DS1 does through my parents and it comforted all the kids) and happy. We gave them lots of hugs and made sure that they knew it was ok to cry, to feel sad, to miss grannie. Also that it’s ok to smile and laugh and be happy too, so they didn’t feel guilty if they weren’t upset all the time.

Since, we talk about my mum all the time, not in a forced way, she’s just part of our lives and we speak as we always did about her. Some days DS1 and DD get very upset (DS2 doesn’t really understand), and we give them a hug and let them talk or ask questions, or whatever they need.

Bereavement is shit, it’s really horrible as an adult and even tougher as a child. I’m sorry about your Nan.

Notreallyarsed Fri 20-Oct-17 18:05:57

@2014newme have you never heard the old adage “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? You’d do well to think on that before you post, since your tone is inevitably snide, no matter the thread.

We had weeks to prepare for Mum’s death, didn’t make it any fucking easier. Someone likened it to bracing for the impact of a plane crash, it’s not really going to help when the impact comes. Be nice or fuck off.

JDSTER Fri 20-Oct-17 18:08:10

I'd say being honest with children about death is essential. I'm not sure why you think you've gone wrong. Have you talked to you daughter about your grandmothers failing health and also I don't mean to belittle the grief you're feeling but 97 is reaching the limits of human life. Most people don't and won't reach that age. I think it's important to talk to your daughter about grief. I explained it by talking about the reason we grieve is because we loved someone. Your daughter has experienced loss before with the death of a pet, which is actually a good first experience. You may find she reacts differently this time, particularly since it was 3 years ago. Michael Rosen has a good book called 'Sad' available on Amazon etc which we found useful for us all.

2014newme Fri 20-Oct-17 18:10:12

I don't think weeks is very long to. Prepare for the death of your mother at all, that must have been a terrible shock for you @Notreaalyaraes I can tell you're still reeling. 💐
Hope though with the ops grandmother being 97 it hasn't been such a shock and she's had the opportunity to prepare herself and her family for the inevitable.

EivissaSenorita Fri 20-Oct-17 18:12:07

Agree NotReally 2014 absolute asshole

Notreallyarsed Fri 20-Oct-17 18:12:30

Thank you 2014

I still think that just because it’s inevitable doesn’t make it less painful though, that’s a fallacy. It may bring comfort afterwards in th sense of “oh they lived a long and happy life” rather than the pain of someone being taken too early, but loss is loss no matter when it comes. Especially to a child.

2014newme Fri 20-Oct-17 18:12:53

Amen to that

celticmissey Fri 20-Oct-17 18:16:42

There are some really good books on how to explain death to children. Research some of these. Also if children struggle with losing someone there are some really good organisations that can help with ways to help them manage their feelings - Winston's wish comes to mind but there may be others in certain areas.

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