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It's my first post so please be nice.
So last week my ex wife past away and received CPR in front of my twin 13 year old girls, they called me crying their eyes out but due to the fact they lived 40 miles away I wasn't about to get there before she died. I'm a bit worried that they don't seem to be showing any emotion towards their mum. The funeral is in two weeks so I'm hoping that might draw something out of them.
Although she was my ex we were still very good friends and I feel guilty if I get a bit emotional and the girls ain't.
I used to see the kids every weekend and phoned them a couple of times a day but my ex dealt with all the school stuff and other bits so I'm lost there to. I'm a bit lost as what to do, I mean do kids still get free bus passes ? Any constructive advice would be gratefully received.
I'm based in south London if that makes a difference.
Thanks in advance
No direct experience but some random thoughts.
They're probably in shock, and the emotion will come out in due course.
Are school being supportive?
Have you heard of Winston's Wish bereavement support for children?
No idea about passes (I thought in London kids got free travel?), but they won't be able to get to school from your house, are they going to need to move school? That could be really difficult, taking them away from their friends.
If they are living with you make sure you have whatever they need for periods in the house, plus enclosed bins. (You probably do already, but just in-case they used to visit all stocked up.)
Routine of school may well be good, but academics likely to take a nosedive, that doesn't matter right now.
A lot of the emotion may come out indirectly so be prepared for a rough ride. They may not ever cry directly about this but there could be other things, small or large, which totally overturn the apple cart so when they are upset for seemingly no reason, just remember this is how they are grieving.
Are they living with you now? If so, ask them what bus passes they have and/or call council. Ring their school too and make sure that teachers are aware. School may know the answer to the bus pass question.
Sympathy for your loss too - history with a ex doesn't go away: she was still your girls' mum and has been a huge part of your life. That's an important message for your girls. It won't be wrong for them to see that, even if you weren't currently together, you cared about their mother and that you are dealing with your feelings too. This could be a time to tell them some of your happier memories.
best wishes x
Rob - I think you need to start communicating with your girls in a really kind but honest way. In a crisis men often feel more comfortable dealing with the practical things (bus passes) whilst ignoring the fact that their hearts are broken and they feel that their world has come to an end. If bus passes are really your priority (or that’s the vibe you are conveying), no wonder they don’t feel able to open up emotionally.
You are a team now, and the grieving and muddling through should be done together...Be honest with them about being a bit out of your depth and ask for their help - but reassure them that you are absolutely there for them and they should feel comfortable talking to you about any fears and concerns. It’s all going to be a shock and a massive upheaval for all of you - better to do it together through tears and laughter rather than them being all clammed up and you trying to be the big strong parent fussing about bus passes ... they are going to grow up quite quickly given what they’ve been through - they need kindness, empathy and a non-judgemental outlet for their devastation and fears. Be kind and be there for them. Make sure they are listened to and take things at their pace.
I wish you well...