Dad died last week - struggling to think straight as it is, but can anyone advise me on whether to take children to the funeral? DD, 8 wants to come but DS, 12 anxious and unsure. I would like them both there, but at the same time don't want DS traumatised by the whole thing.
I think they should decide for themselves too. I also think DS is more likely to feel traumatised by not going, but he has to make the choice. I just think sitting around, knowing its on, will be really difficult for him, he'd get some sort of closure by being there.
Have you (or someone he trusts) explained to him what will happen.
I know that sounds obvious but children sometimes have real uncertainty about what a real funeral is like.
If you are as sure as you can be that they understand what will happen then at that stage I think you should letthem choose themselves.
All my children came to my dads and i think it was the right decision for all of them. DD was only 18months but she likes knowing that she was there. DS1 was 11 but is grateful that he was there to say goodbye.
( DS2 was mostly colouring and singing. He has SN )
Sorry for your loss Simone. When my MIL died we didn't let the boys go to the funeral. They were 7 and 9. DS2 in particular has never forgiven me and I now regret trying to shield them from it. At the time I was also thinking about DH and wanted him to be able to go to his mums funeral without feeling he had to be extra brave in front of the DCs. If faced with this now I would try to explain exactly what will happen. Also that lots of grown ups will be very sad and will cry. I'd say it's fine to cry or not , noone minds. If your DS doesn't go he may feel guilty later however much you tell him it's okay. Would there be anyone apart from you who he would feel comfortable going with? (Just to help you as well as DS.)
Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences. They are both coming along and we will talk it through beforehand as you have suggested. It'll be a tough day whatever, but plenty of loving friends and family to prop us up!