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Death of a BP

9 replies

Whatthechicken · 22/05/2021 20:21

We have just been informed of the death of the BF. It’s come as a shock, and we are still processing the implications of it (we never met BF). I feel incredibly sad for our kids. We have very little info and photos from BF. The kids are currently blissfully unaware...they are very young and doing so, so well at school, developmentally and socially. This happened a good few months ago, but we’ve just been made aware. What do we do with this? How do we approach this? I’m very much in the thought that the kids have a right to know, but they are so young (5&6). They have known the death of pets, but the concept is still so abstract to them. I think my first point of call is to ask for advice from adoption uk. Do any of you wonderful lot have any experience? Do any of you have any sage advice? I don’t think we will tell the kids until there is a break in school and we can be with them, and I will tell those that need to know what’s happened (such as teachers), so we can have a good few trusted people to watch over them. But apart from

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Whatthechicken · 22/05/2021 20:47

Generally, I am very honest with our kids (sometimes it could be described as ‘brutally’), but this feels like a moment in time...a moment in time that shapes things. I know it can’t be done right, because it’s so awful, but I need to do it as right as possible.

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Ted27 · 22/05/2021 21:07

this is always so difficult

I think you are right to wait till a break in school

Do they have any memory of him? If they have no memories, I think i would be thinking in terms of doing some life story work, maybe in the summer holidays and including it as part of that narrative.

Whatthechicken · 22/05/2021 21:25

No vivid memories, they never lived with him as far as I can tell from the chaotic history...but littlest does remember the final contact as they did paint hand prints and we regularly remind them about their history (within context). Eldest is extremely empathetic (almost overly so) and would be distressed no matter who it was.

I think you are right Ted, I think this is the time that maybe ‘proper’ life story work (rather than just from us) takes place (I thought they were years off, as they were doing so well, but I feel like this has changed things). I think I will try to get all relevant parties lined up and plan it properly.

In a strange way, I am glad we found out a few months later, as I think this gives us a bit more time. If we’d have found out straight away, I think we would have felt pressured to tell them straight away.

I have offered to letterbox that we will write to another member of the paternal BF to keep options open for the future (I don’t think that will be forthcoming), but if not, they said they will hold our letters in case someone in the family comes forward at a future date.

Such a weird set of circumstances, I’m grieving on behalf of my kids, but also grieving/feeling guilt (?) for someone I’ve never met - they were so, so young and literally didn’t stand a chance at life.

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Ted27 · 22/05/2021 21:36

I used to dread this, at least my son has got to 16 and has quite a spohisticated understanding of his story, he would be sad if it happened now but not devastated.

Just on life story work, I’m a big advocate of it, but don’t feel its a one off thing, Children’s understanding changes so much, I see it as very much a process, with big inputs at different stages.

Whatthechicken · 22/05/2021 21:43

@Ted27 you’re right, I have often seen it as a one time thing, in my mind, it’s been something that takes place in adolescence (or just before( because of the extra hormones and questioning stuff /identity etc. Would you go through SS or private to life story work? At the minute I have little faith in SS as to the way they have held and not verified certain information.

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Ted27 · 22/05/2021 22:22

Yes we had extensive theraputic life story work in early teens because we were encountering a lot of issues. But he had life story work done by the in house SW before he came to me age 7. I did bits and pieces with him over the first few years.

If you are having no particular issues at the moment, you might be able to do it yourself at this stage. Google Joy Rees, she is very good on this, I attended a training course with her several years ago, it was very helpful,
She has some good books and I think some youtube videos

Therapeutic70 · 22/05/2021 22:26

Is it perhaps worth contacting Family Futures? I think it is very wise to wait.

Whatthechicken · 23/05/2021 00:42

Thanks all, I will seek out the extra help and expertise. I think the delay has afforded us a bit of time and I need to do this right...I’ll look up the suggestions and extra training.

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Yolande7 · 25/05/2021 13:36

We found "Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine - Paperback: Your Activity Book to Help When Someone Has Died (Early Years)" incredibly helpful. Another good book is "Life Story Work with Children Who are Fostered or Adopted: Creative Ideas and Activities".

You can ask the post-adoption support at your LA for life story work. They can apply for funding via the ASF.

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