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AIBU?

Son has told me he doesn’t want to visit the graveyard anymore

404 replies

eastmeanswestmum · 07/12/2019 17:38

More of a what should I do?
My mum died while I was pregnant and I was just 21. A few weeks later I had my little boy, every week since he was born we’ve visited the graveyard, every Christmas Day we’ve gone after we’ve opened presents.
He’s been brilliant, he openly talks about her and has always wanted to go see ‘ his granny ‘
He started reception in September, this week he asked me about Christmas Day, I said we will do the same as normal open presents and then go see granny with grandad. I was so so so shocked when he said he didn’t want to go anymore. I didn’t want to pressure him into questions so I kind of just brushed over it, were due to go tomorrow and I don’t know wether to or to leave it ?
What is the best way to approach this?
Obviously going to the graveyard gives me so much comfort- I can’t go on my own as I’m a single mum so finding someone to sit in with 2 little ones so I can go isn’t an option.
But I completely understand if it isn’t appealing for a 4 year old. But do I ask why? Do I encourage him to keep going or do I just leave it and take a break?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

900 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
87%
You are NOT being unreasonable
13%
EpcotForever · 07/12/2019 21:53

You sound like an amazing mum, doing a fantastic job. My parents are still alive so I can't give any advice, however I love the fact you incorporated visits to your mums grave into your weekends. I think if I was in your situation I would do to - and of course be worried if my child suddenly no longer wanted to. Hopefully you can still visit the grave as often, but maybe not mention it.. like you said - go for a walk and let him take the lead direction wise. If you end up visiting her, fantastic - if not, maybe you will next time. Perhaps do something at home to remember her by like a pp said with a candle or a special flower in the garden. Flowers

lucy101 · 07/12/2019 21:54

As much as people use visiting graves as a comfort thing .. your loved one is NOT there, laying flowers makes NO difference, and your memories and special moments are still in your head whether you do this or not.

I hope you NEVER have to bury your child and visit a cemetery standing in front of a headstone with your child's name on it.
I'm fucking disgusted by your comment.*

Well... I have had to bury a child.. and I don't find that disgusting. I actually do believe that my memories are mine and in my head. I don't take my children to visit their sister's grave (a sister they never met).

I also have a mother who asks me to visit graves with her... and I won't go. My memories of the people who have died are mine and mine alone (and they are memories, that's all) and I always feel like a 'walk-on' to my mother's grief which makes me very uncomfortable.

Please listen to your son. Find a private way to acknowledge your grief. If he is in school go then but please don't ignore him.

inwood · 07/12/2019 21:55

I think it's too much, sorry op and sorry for your loss. I remember having to and clean the grannies' graveyards and it was horrible. He didn't know your mum / his granny so the graveyard probably means nothing to him. Sorry if that seems harsh.

cultmaskid · 07/12/2019 21:56

Is he 4/5
Doubt it's to do with anything else other then being bored or wanting to play with his toys
Take him on Christmas Day. Give no choice also tomorrow and just tell him where he is going.

Also sending you love as this is hard to hear from your child xx

lisag1969 · 07/12/2019 21:56

Maybe someone said something to him at school when he said what he does at the weekend. Bless him.

ivykaty44 · 07/12/2019 21:58

MrsDesireeCarthorse You’ve not read the op property

DarwinLoves · 07/12/2019 22:00

My oldest daughter died before my other children were born, going to the cemetery is a a regular part of our life, like you, it's not a depressed, sad experience it's just part of our lives.

I've got a 4 year old and they are difficult creatures! They are self absorbed and my 4 year old can be the same, wants to do what she wants to do. It's not unreasonable to ask him to spare the 10 minutes.

To a 4 year old it's just another thing they don't want to do, that takes them away from time with their toys. No different to a trip to the supermarket.

Comradesally · 07/12/2019 22:07

Op I've lost my mum and its so painful when you have dc and they won't know her or her they.
Its something un bearable to live with sometimes. However we all move on and remember in different ways as we age, our dc age and it can turn into something more maudlin. Don't be offended by his reaction, go when you can but start to lesson it with him, keep photos out, stories... Maybe a memory book... But not the grave visits with him.

We talk about my mum, I regal with funny stories , mannerisms... Oh granny x loved that song, colour, film too etc...

Comradesally · 07/12/2019 22:10

Darwin your lucky some dc couldn't handle constant grave visits and not when they start to learn life is not finite, people die etc it can deeply affect them.

There are so many ways to remember, keep their spirit alive...

Aridane · 07/12/2019 22:10

Oh good - some of the viler posts on this thread have been deleted (those of @Hepsibar and @minesagin37)

TooSweetToBeSour · 07/12/2019 22:15

Dorothy ^ gives excellent advice but I just wanted to add @eastmeanswestmum you aren’t wrong, a let down or a mean mum for doing this with DS. You lost your lovely Mum at a very difficult time and you’ve been honouring her memory with your DS in an entirely appropriate way. PLEASE don’t feel guilt or sadness over his current feelings about the visits.

VeggieTr1angle · 07/12/2019 22:18

Sorry for your loss

I don't believe that you have done anything wrong. The visits have obviously been a comfort to you during this time & perhaps the routine too

Everyones grief is different

Some of my relatives don't have a grave or gravestone, due to various reasons
However, they are still much loved & remembered

I remember regular walks when I was a child with grieving relatives. I didn't really understand what was going on. Until I was an adult & close relatives/friends departed

Wintersleep · 07/12/2019 22:19

Attitudes to and about death widely differ, in some countries they keep the mummified corpse of a loved one in the house with them for years until they're ready to lay them to rest. In many places it's common to throw a big party and have a great time when someone is laid to rest. Can't remember the place exactly but they dig up the corpses every year and dress them in new clothes and bury them again with gifts. Dia de los muertos is all about celebrating and remembering people in the family, even those who died before you were born.

There is no right or wrong way to deal with death OP, I personally don't find graveyards morbid at all, do what feels right.

Starrynightowl · 07/12/2019 22:21

OP I think you are being unreasonable going on Christmas Day. Start making Christmas Day with different traditions now. Perhaps make/buy a decoration for the tree? You seem lovely and thoughtful and have been given a bit of a bashing here. Your son sounds lovely too.

I wasn’t that close to my Dad. I found out the day he died some terrible things my mum kept secret from us. I have never been to his grave. It gives me some sort of reply to him!

Contrast that with the love you have for your mum. But the grave is a symbol - it doesn’t stop your love for her. It doesn’t matter where you are, you carry that with you.

DarwinLoves · 07/12/2019 22:26

Darwin your lucky some dc couldn't handle constant grave visits and not when they start to learn life is not finite, people die etc it can deeply affect them.

No I'm not lucky. Our daughter who died is part of our lives and visiting the cemetery is natural for us. I've done a lot to answer their questions and it's very relaxed and a quiet cemetery where they can run around.

I've got older children and I've been through the experience of when they learn life is not finite and how difficult that is but visiting a cemetery does not make that worse. Kids go through that anyway.

I'm not lucky, I've worked hard to ensure my child who died is included in our lives while still putting my living children first.

poorstudent1010 · 07/12/2019 22:28

Obviously going to the graveyard gives me so much comfort-

Oh come on, unfortunately you’re being clouded by your grief. A GRAVEYARD is not comforting to a young child, it would have the opposite effect for some children and even scare them. I’m almost 20 years older than him and I still find cemeteries sombre and creepy.

By all means, it’s worth arranging childcare so you can still visit, but I don’t think it’s fair to drag him too if he has already expressed that he’s uncomfortable

Anxietyandwine · 07/12/2019 22:34

I’d praise his open expression of feelings, while explaining that it helps you to feel close you your mom by going to visit her Grave.

Is visiting in school hours an option? This doesn’t mean you have to stop talking about her and sharing pictures/stories/memories etc.

My Nan died before my daughter was born and she talks about her regularly and calls her ‘nanny in heaven’ and could describe her appearance/mannerism etc if asked but she’s only ever been to her grave once or twice.

If visiting in school isn’t an option maybe you could compromise and go every other week and explain to him that it’s important to you, children need to learn other people have feelings and to compromise.

SolitaryGrape · 07/12/2019 22:49

You’ve done nothing at all wrong, OP, and there’s nothing ‘twisted and morbid’ about visiting a grave. It worked for you and your son for years, now he’s asking for a change — you’re doing exactly the right thing in responding to that. And discount quite a few of the responses on the thread, which stem from a strange widespread English weirdness about death, like it’s something embarrassing like haemorrhoids that only affects an unlucky minority. Very best wishes to you.

RainbowMum11 · 07/12/2019 22:51

This is so personal, and there can never be a right or wrong way to grieve, and it's so much harder when you can't just do what you need to do because of others.
However, maybe go to visit your mum on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day instead as a compromise?
I personally don't feel much comfort in visiting my DD grave, but her birthday is 29 Dec and anniversary of her death is 31 Dec so we always go around Christmas a couple of times, my second DD(6) now asks when we can go to see her grave, and looks out for decorations for her etc, so it could very easily be just a stage.
It's a very hard time of year though to be missing someone close - try to be gentle with yourself.

TriciaH87 · 07/12/2019 22:56

I suggest going without him but on granny's birthday, mothers day and Christmas day you take him unless specifically requested not too. Maybe now at school he sees others picked up by granny and finds it sad but didn't want to upset you because it's all he ever knew until he started school.

Whoops75 · 07/12/2019 22:57

My grandmother died on Christmas Day but we never visit the grave on that day.
I think it’s ok to skip that day for the children and visit the next day.
I haven’t been at her grave in 7 years, she is at rest and doesn’t need me there.

memaymamo · 07/12/2019 22:59

@eastmeanswestmum Have you talked more with him about why? You can't change everything based on him just saying I don't want to go.

You need a longer chat about what he's feeling and why he feels that. Perhaps it's something like he's been hearing about zombies at school and is scared of dead people. Perhaps it's about a fixed idea of the schedule on Christmas Day and you could easily adjust it. Perhaps he doesn't really understand why you do it, and you can spend time explaining why we remember our loved ones and watch Coco together etc etc.

Just sounds like you haven't fully investigated his feelings before panicking and changing your plans.

Louise91417 · 07/12/2019 23:00

I think this i a lovely thing you do, its nice that you are keeping you mums memory alive with your little one. It could be that he is maybe just coming of age were he is starting to know what a graveyard "means" and that is making him feel uncomfortable.. have a chat incase he has any questions and maybe have a break from taking him. I used to take my dc to visit my dads grave and especially on xmas morning but i cut back and didnt make it as much of a routine for them, it was a personal thing for me to visit my dads grave so maybe a bit unfair to force it on my kids.

fairynick · 07/12/2019 23:03

I’m sorry that you lost your mum so long and whilst pregnant, that sounds horrific!
However I’m not surprised that your child doesn’t want to go. I wouldn’t like to dragged to a graveyard every week to see the grave of someone I don’t even know!
Maybe you could compromise and just do a short visit or visit the day before?

MuisingCruising · 07/12/2019 23:07

Im sorry about your Mum OP,

I dont think you have been doing it wrong for years, youve done what you thought was right. And you didnt get it wrong, at all

You said you live very close to the graveyard. I lived infront of a graveyard when i was a child, you could sew the graves from our bedroom. The graveyard was so close we often took family walks there, us kids played there etc, a few times a week, if we had had a relative in that graveyard no doubt we would of been visiting them

I undertstand you wanting your son to know your mum. My first baby died 2 hours after he was born and both of my children know they have a big brother. We talk about him, why should we forget people just because their no longer here? Their still a part of us and a part of our family arnt they

Im sorry about your mum OP Flowers

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