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Death of other granny

(32 Posts)
adrisco Sun 22-Apr-18 18:35:40

My daughter-in-laws mum died today. She was 64 and had been ill in hospital but her death came as a shock to everyone. My granddaughters are 10 and 5. I don't know when I will see them - probably not before the funeral, but I'm worried about what to say and do. I want to be there for my daughter-in-law .. and my son and the girls, but need advice on how to help without being pushy. Any help appreciated. Thanks. By the way we live in the same town so I am readily available but don't want DIL to resent me for still being around when her mum isn't.

Niobe Sun 22-Apr-18 18:41:32

You live in the same town but won't see your granddaughters until the funeral? Why not? Can you not offer to look after them so that they are not in the middle of preparations for the funeral? If I were in your daughter in law's place I think that I would be very grateful if someone close to my children could care for them at a time like this.

Luckygirl Sun 22-Apr-18 18:50:09

If you live in the same town, it might be helpful to send a message to your DIL with your condolences and offer to help in any way, as you realise she will be busy with the funeral arrangements and will be feeling very sad.

As to the DGDs - lots of hugs.

What makes you think that you might not see them before the funeral? - is there some breakdown in the relationship?

adrisco Sun 22-Apr-18 18:54:22

I have offered help via my son when he rang .. just not sure what DIL will want. Will offer again in couple of days .. childcare, shopping .. anything. When I re-read my post I realised I sounded heartless. Obviously I will do whatever, whenever. I love my DIL dearly and really want to be there for her without being too "in her face" .. it's a fine line I feel!

J52 Sun 22-Apr-18 19:03:17

When in a similar situation, I sent a card to my DIL with my condolences, memories and offers of help.
I found it more satisfactory to write.

BlueBelle Sun 22-Apr-18 19:11:23

Tell your daughter in law exactly what you have told us that you love her dearly and will do anything you can to help That’s all
Love and hugs with the children don’t worry about tears that’s natural and they are resilient

trisher Sun 22-Apr-18 19:33:16

adrisco just go with the flow your DIL must be devastated 64 is no age these days. Your GDs will have lots of questions and you can only answer honestly. There are some books about death- like Michael Rosens's Sad but it can be a bit difficult as it deals with the death of his 18 year old son. My GD was helped to cope with her GGM's death by helping to sort out her flat and choosing some things as keepsakes. You could offer to help your DIL with this if it is something she will have to do. Perhaps offer to child mind whilst she does any official stuff. If her dad is still alive she might appreciate being able to have child-free time with him when she won't have to worry about upsetting the children.

MawBroon Sun 22-Apr-18 19:53:21

Go with your heart.
If you have a good relationship with your DIL your sympathy will be welcomed and an open ended offer of any help she would like will surely be warmly received.
Bear in mind the family will be in shock, so remember to make allowances if you do not hear from them as quickly as you might hope, be patient, warm and loving.

Lisalou Sun 22-Apr-18 20:10:43

Write to her, just a short, handwritten note. She will appreciate it, especially as you describe a warm relationship with her. I know these things helped me tremendously when my dad died. Offer help, and let her get back to you xxx

J52 Sun 22-Apr-18 20:11:52

I realise my previous post sounded cold!
We were in daily contact with my DIL, DS and DGCs and could be supportive in a practical way entertaining the DGCs.
But writing seemed more personal and she hopefully could re read the content and take some comfort from the words.
I also sat with the DGCs when the funeral took place and let them lead the conversation as they wished.

M0nica Sun 22-Apr-18 20:48:48

If you can afford it, send your DiL flowers. Flowers show love and support without the danger of words being the wrong ones.

Bluegal Sun 22-Apr-18 21:21:09

Adrisco. I think you are possibly overthinking. Your DIL will be destraught at the loss of her Mum but will not resent you for still being here!

Go to the funeral. Support in any way needed. No right or wrong way to act other than offering your help x

Jalima1108 Sun 22-Apr-18 21:23:38

You could write your DIL a note (and send flowers too) to say you know how devastated she must be and how sorry you are, offering to do anything she wants - there will be a lot to sort out and I'm sure your help will be welcome with your DGD.

I know our DIL was devastated when her father died but her mother was still around to sort out a lot of the details. Is your DIL's father still alive or will your DIL have to do everything herself?

As for talking to your DGD, then ask your son and DIL for advice on how they are explaining it all to them and follow their wishes.

grannytotwins Mon 23-Apr-18 10:19:59

I would think that your GC may now be worried about losing you. I would want to see them to reassure them that you won’t be leaving them for a very long time. You have a role to play in helping your DS and DiL at this difficult time. Don’t wait until the funeral.

mabon1 Mon 23-Apr-18 11:23:22

Children are very resilient. When my husband died they just asked "why" I told them and they were satisfied and have happy memories

Summerstorm Mon 23-Apr-18 11:32:49

Maybe it’s just me, but if you live in the same town and have even a reasonable relationship, why don’t you just go and see her. Give her a big hug even if you wouldn’t normally do that, take flowers, a card, offer whatever practical help she wants, take the children out for tea etc. I’m not a very demonstrative person but have really appreciated when I’ve been given a hug in difficult situations

Albangirl14 Mon 23-Apr-18 11:35:14

Practical help such as taking a meal round that can be popped in the oven or home made cake or biscuits are usually helpful when people have a lot to do .

Patticake123 Mon 23-Apr-18 11:40:21

I’d go round with some meals prepared. Daughter in Law won’t know what’s hit her and any practical help would be really useful. Be honest with the girls. Grandma has died, she not gone away, she’s not gone to sleep, she is longer here but that doesn’t mean we cannot talk about her , love her and think about the reasons we love and miss her so much. Children do need the opportunity to grieve. Don’t be afraid to let them see your tears.

Nanny27 Mon 23-Apr-18 12:38:44

Just show your love for them all in whatever way feels right. I'm wondering if you relationship with dil is a little difficult if you feel in need of advice from others before you feel comfortable with comforting them.

gummybears Mon 23-Apr-18 13:01:40

Send flowers. The gesture is almost universally appreciated after the initial shock wears off.

If DIL would prefer the children not to be at the funeral, offer via your son to take care of them that day. Children don’t attend funerals in my family and having someone to babysit that day can be difficult to find. The deceased deserve your respect, but the living still need your help.

Likewise, speak to son and offer help with meals etc. Make these offers via him as he will naturally be less upset than DIL herself. Make a quick call to her of just a few moments to express your condolences and share your affection for her. Make her a blanket offer of help so if she does want to ask son to ask you for something, it will be easier on her.

Stick strictly to whatever story son and DIL choose to tell the children about what happened to grandma. It may not be a traditionally religious one, but as the parents they have have the right to handle this as they see fit.

NannaM Mon 23-Apr-18 14:09:22

It's time to live just in the moment. Go and see her - with open arms and ready to do anything she needs, whether its taking the kids off her hands and out of the house, doing some cooking, cleaning, anything.

blue60 Mon 23-Apr-18 14:51:29

Keep in touch regularly. Give them a ring just to ask how they are, is there anything you can do etc. I'm sure they'll ask you if they need anything as long as they know you are there for them.

At the moment, they have a lot to deal with.

grandtanteJE65 Mon 23-Apr-18 15:16:44

I think you should write to her saying more or less what you have told us. That you are worried that you do not know what to say or do to help. That you were shocked by the news of the death, even although you knew you DIL's mother was ill and that you will help in any way you can, but are afraid to seem pushy.

And do please ask exactly what they have told the children.

Sorry for your loss.

micmc47 Mon 23-Apr-18 16:38:00

Finding it difficult to relate to the situation you are describing. If it was my family I'd already be round there with an offer to provide whatever support they require. Is your relationship with your DIL perhaps a little edgy? Can't think of what else would be holding you back.

Saggi Mon 23-Apr-18 18:35:30

My SIL mum died when she was 64 ten years ago. He was new to my family and my grandson was just 18 months old. His father died when he was a child! He has a sister but they tend NOT to get on! I let him know I was available to my daughter and him for baby-sitting and/or anything g at any time. They did call upon me to help as he was struggling personally as he was angry at his mum for the manner of her he saw her smoking related cancer to be self inflicted and had been angry at her for a long time . It was all very stressful for him AND my daughter. Just be there for this family of which you are such an important part.As time goes on you will become a great support and being the only nanna you must always speak kindly to the little girls about their other nan....they will drawer closer to you because you speak kindly about her. Be brave for them all, they are going to need you more than ever. Good luck.