My daughter and her husband have two little boys (3 years 2 months and 18 months). My son-in-laws parents are wonderful grandparents to the boys but they are both now terminally ill. We are all trying very hard to come to terms with this awful situation - they are both in their early 60s and grandad is expected to live now only for a further few weeks or less. Granny is obviously having to try and cope with the prospect of losing her dear husband very soon as well as her own life within the next few
months. It is a very difficult time.
They are such lovely caring people and are desperately sad about leaving their grandchildren before they have even started school. Losing them both at much the same time soon will leave a huge hole in our family and it is heart-breaking that the little ones will lose such wonderful grandparents from their lives and may hardly even remember them. Of course, we will never forget them and will tell the boys about them as they grow up.
I am worried about the effect on the children of losing their beloved granny and grandad at around the same time. I know it is important to tell them (particularly the 3 year old) what has happened and why he cannot see them any more. He is particularly sensitive little boy and the loss for him will be immense. I know we need to tell the children the truth that they will not be coming back (obviously gaged at an age appropriate level).
My feeling is to wait until both grandparents have died before telling the children as I am afraid telling them about one death and then another shortly afterwards will be far too much for a little one to understand and will cause too much sadness and possibly mental harm to a very young child. I know children have to learn about the harsh realities of life and death to become well rounded adults, but I want to protect them at this very young, vulnerable age and help them deal with the loss of their grandparents in the best way possible.
I know children lose their grandparents every day and hopefully cope with it as children are very resilient, but losing two loved ones at the same time is going to be especially hard for us all and of course particularly the little ones.
If you have had any experience of supporting small children through great loss, I would value your opinion and thoughts. Many thanks.
Lindey Mon 14-Oct-19 12:27:37
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