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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?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Jeezoh · 07/12/2019 18:49

I’m so sorry for your loss, I think it’s lovely you’re going to respond to what your son is telling you, he obviously trusts that he can be honest with you.

I’d find other ways to remember her - play a song that reminds you of her, look through old photos, make her favourite food for dinner....

seltaeb · 07/12/2019 18:49

Condolences on your loss, I can understand that losing your Mum at a young age was very tough. However your DS did not know her and it is not realistic to expect a child to grieve for someone he never knew. As ever I think you should prioritise your DCs and seek opportunities to visit your Mum's grave when your DS is elsewhere, eg school.

Somerville · 07/12/2019 18:50

Somerville - You should complain to your local church warden

Confused I made it clear my loved one is buried in a cemetery. The council is in charge. It is hard on slashed budgets to enforce the rules of no cycles, dogs etc but they do try.

The OP post isn't about dog fouling.

Fouling isn’t the only problem with dogs at recent graves unfortunately. Sad

maybe a bit of respect is needed online too

Perhaps you confused me with someone else who wrote something disrespectful to OP.

katseyes7 · 07/12/2019 18:50

l've got a little stone ornament in my garden. lt's of a rabbit holding an open book which says "Keep off the grass! That's my dinner!"
The little boy next door (he was 5 at the time) was in my house seeing my rabbits, and on the way out, he said "Kats, why have you got a grave in your garden?" l had to explain that it wasn't a grave, that it was just an ornament.
Next time l saw his mum, l mentioned it to her. She said "oh, he's obsessed with death! He's always worried somebody's going to die."
Maybe that's why your little one doesn't want to go to the cemetery? lf he knows you're visiting your dead mother, it may be making him worry about losing you?

minesagin37 · 07/12/2019 18:50

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ParkheadParadise · 07/12/2019 18:51

This thread had made me think.
I lost my dd1, when I was 7mths pregnant with dd2. I used to visit the cemetery every day when she died, sometimes when I couldn't sleep during the night I would go to the cemetery.
When Dd2 was born we stopped at the cemetery on the way home. I've always taken Dd2 with me either in the pram or car seat.
She 4 now I still take her with me sometimes usually at the weekend. During the week I drop her at nursery then go to the cemetery. On Christmas morning we will go to the cemetery DH and Dd2.
She doesn't understand Dd1 was her sister. She likes to play with the windmill when I'm sorting the flowers.
I still go 2/3 times a week it brings me comfort. If she didn't want to come, I would accept that.

Soontobe60 · 07/12/2019 18:53

I rarely visit my dads grave, although I miss him terribly. I remember him in many other ways, have his photo as my phone screensaver, have a few photos around the house, and just think of him at quiet times.
If you get some comfort from visiting your mum every week then that's lovely, but your son didn't know her, never will so don't e shocked at his response. He won't know any other child his age whose Christmas Day tradition includes a visit to a grave.
Will you be able to see your mum by yourself at all on the day?

Somerville · 07/12/2019 18:53

ParkheadParadise Flowers Flowers

Puddlelane123 · 07/12/2019 18:54

‘Going to a graveyard every week is not okay’ - says the grief police. Jeez! This has been an eye opener for me - I had no idea there were strict rules on the timelines and manifestations of grief. I must have missed that lesson at school.

Soontobe60 · 07/12/2019 18:55


That's a terrible thing to say! Everyone remembers their loved ones in different ways. It's not like she throws herself on the grave in hysterics! Walking past whilst walking the dog, with her kids on their bikes, is perfectly ok!

DinoSn0re · 07/12/2019 18:55

@minesagin37 just because it’s not ok for you doesn’t mean it’s not ok for other people.

Mrshue · 07/12/2019 18:57

@eastmeanswestmum. My mother commuted suicide. I don’t think people realise what it’s like when someone commits suicide. As to when someone dies unexpectedly. I’ve had both. The second quote a few times and it’s insanely different. I don’t know how and I can’t describe it. But the person you loved the most kills themselves and you don’t feel adequate enough....it’s truly devastating. I understand how it brings you comfort. Hugs.

HowlsMovingBungalow · 07/12/2019 18:57

@Somerville - You came on to this thread with no advice to OP just telling her not to walk her dog through cemetary/graveyard and also for her son not to cycle his bicycle there too?
Your problem with dogs and issues in your cemetary isn't the OP's fault.

YouSawThePlans · 07/12/2019 18:57

Please don't think you've been 'doing it wrong all these years'. Your DS is getting a bit older and talking to people at school, and thinking about different matters.
He doesn't want to go now. That doesn't mean he hasn't ever wanted to go. It doesn't mean that there won't be a time when he does want to go again.
It's lovely and right that you respect his choice just now but please don't beat yourself up over what happened before. I'm so sorry for your loss Flowers

eastmeanswestmum · 07/12/2019 18:58

@minesagin37 thanks for that. Maybe I do- but I asked for it when pregnant and was on a waiting list for 9 months. When I got offered it I had no one to watch my baby- as I have no family.
I can’t afford to pay for counselling.

OP posts:
Genderwitched · 07/12/2019 18:59

OP you haven't done wrong, please don't think that, it sounds like he has been happy to go until now. You have listened to your son, not dismissed his feelings, therefore you have acted just as a mother should. Have a beautiful, fun filled Christmas day with your son.

Memoriesmemories · 07/12/2019 19:00

@eastmeanswestmum I'm so sorry to hear about your mum.

AlternativePerspective · 07/12/2019 19:01

Visiting/not visiting a grave is a very personal thing to the person who has been through the loss.

If you feel the need to visit the grave every week then that is personal and others don’t have the right to judge that.

But the reality is that it’s your loss, not his. You say that you want to include her in his life, but the truth is, you can’t. She isn’t a part of his life. He never knew her, will never miss her, has no idea about who she was or what she stood for.

Visiting the grave for yourself is about your grief, but wanting to have her in your DS’ life is also about your grief, and that’s where it’s not ok.

Londongirl86 · 07/12/2019 19:04

@parkheadParadise that's so sad. I'm so sorry you lost your child Flowers I think you have to do these things to survive yourself in these situations. So important to keep them in your heart isn't it. Sending you love xx

TeenPlusTwenties · 07/12/2019 19:04

OP Flowers I don't think you have been doing anything wrong up to now. I expect that what has happened is that as your DS has gone to school he has realised that most children don't visit a graveyard every week and on Christmas Day. I wouldn't be surprised if an unguarded friend has told him its 'weird' or similar.

I think being guided by him is fine. You may well find that he continues to be happy to visit regularly not just every week. Also if you find he doesn't want to go, it is OK for you as a parent to say that you do need to pop in, just the same as if you had to go to the shops or garage or whatever.

Sherrybabyy · 07/12/2019 19:05

Really sorry OP for the loss of your mum. It must be incredibly hard for you. Hope you find the support you need Flowers

Disfordarkchocolate · 07/12/2019 19:06

I think you have done the right thing, you have raised a little boy who is comfortable telling you about this. That in itself is pretty darn good parenting.

Perhaps now make the visits more ad-hoc? When you walk through just wave to your Mum sometimes. Go before or after Christmas, at his age, he really will want to stay home and play.

Aridane · 07/12/2019 19:07

@minesagin37 - not nice, really not nice

Natsku · 07/12/2019 19:09

If I were you I would stop going every week now but go instead occasionally. Where I live it's traditional to visit loved ones' graves at certain times of the year and put a candle on the grave (or flowers in the summer) - usually people go on All Saint's Day, Christmas, and then Mothers' Day if it's their mum or Fathers' Day if it's their dad. Maybe All Saint's, Boxing Day, and Mothers' Day would be good times to go?

TripleSeptic · 07/12/2019 19:09

You're not being unreasonable. I had to stop reading others replies. I'm all for giving 4 year olds autonomy, I have one myself, but you're not standing by the grave wailing for 5 hours in the cold while he looks on. It's okay to teach him to do something for you, let's swing by granny's grave for 5 mins on the way to the park, this is the fastest way to the park. My mum lost her mum 6 weeks before I was born, and she doted on my baby when I had my daughter. Then she passed away suddenly when my daughter was 19m old. I knew about my granny through my mum, and my daughter knows about her granny through me. They're alive in us. It's not important to a child now, but it will be when they're older and have children of their own. Don't feel shamed or be apologetic, death is a part of life, it's never too early to learn that, so long as its age appropriate. It's 5 mins once a week. If he complained about you stopping at the shop for a coffee while you waited in the park, would you stop? Just because death and graveyards are emotive subjects, you're feeling bad. It's a thing you like to do. Don't give up everything for your child, you're allowed 5 minutes for YOU. I don't imagine you're ever really apart as a single parent, and it's not too early to learn about compromise. Lots of love to you pFlowers Flowers Flowers

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