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Taking it in their stride

(45 Posts)
NanKate Tue 17-Jan-17 22:32:03

We are staying at my DS's house for a couple of days in order to attend his mother-in-laws funeral tomorrow. I have been rather apprehensive about being with our two GSs nearly 6 and 4 as I wanted to make sure DH and I didn't say anything to upset them about their Grandma, who they were close to.

Well over supper they brought up the subject of tomorrow's funeral which they are attending. The little one said Grandma was very old (70) and I'll that is why she died. The older grandson said she was ill but not old. Then they said, do you think she is now a ghost and watching us. I said she will be keeping an eye on you as she loved you a lot, which fortunately stopped the talk of ghosts. The eldest said you know Grandpa could get himself a new wife now shock.

The children seemed so matter of fact, not at all upset, but did comment that mummy had been very sad. So they obviously are aware of the sadness their mum feels.

I told them we were having a buffet at the Wake which pleased them immensely.

So please keep your fingers crossed that they remain as calm and collected at the funeral itself. I know I will be very tearful.

Morgana Wed 18-Jan-17 20:10:36

Thank goodness things have changed and we now see the need to explain things to children
So many of us older folks were scarred by things not being spoken of.

SueDonim Wed 18-Jan-17 21:18:09

My older (half)sister wasn't told her mother had died for six months. Her mother was supposed to be away on holiday and my 4yo sister kept asking when she would be back. sad

Contrast that with my two grandchildren, aged 3 & 6. Our little cat died last year. The GC said they were very sad about it, then the older one said 'Buried or burnt?' I must have looked a bit bemused as my son quickly jumped in and said 'They're just asking what happened to the body, they're interested in death at the moment.' I thought it was a very good attitude that they're so pragmatic about it.

I hope the funeral went as well as it could in the circumstances, Nankate.

NanKate Wed 18-Jan-17 21:48:52

Thanks to Kitty, Roses, Anya, Shysal, Brenda and all the other kind GNetters who posted such helpful and supportive messages today.

IMO the funeral was wonderful, a Requiem Mass with the bells, incense and lots of joyful singing and music. My eldest GS turned to look at me during the service with tears running down his face, other than that he was fine. He and his brother cruised the buffet, ran up and down the hall and generally let rip after sitting quietly for the one and a half hour service.

20 of us went out for supper in the evening and gave Sue a great send off, which she richly deserved.

Thanks to you all flowers

Anya Thu 19-Jan-17 15:26:34


Lynnebo Thu 19-Jan-17 17:20:28

My darling Dad died last Friday at the grand age of 90. His GGD aged 3 and a half has been told he was very old and poorly and has gone to the moon where we can wave at him. She cried and then asked if he had taken the dog. I texted a picture of the dog but she was sad that the dog was by herself so I had to send a photo of dog with Great Grandma. Then Tilly asked if Great Grandad had taken his clothes in a suitcase .....

radicalnan Thu 19-Jan-17 21:54:37

I am so glad the funeral went well........for you all.

grannyqueenie Thu 19-Jan-17 22:46:43

I'm glad to hear it all went well for the family. It sounds like a fitting celebration of a life well lived. Sometimes there's something about children at a funeral that just reminds everyone of the natural order of things. For many children the loss of a much loved grandparent is their first experience of death. Experiencing that in the context of a loving family where they are able to be part of both the sadness of a death and the celebration of a life can lay the foundations for how they cope with losses in later life. flowers

NanKate Fri 20-Jan-17 07:22:01

Well said Queenie you summed it up perfectly.

flowers for Lynne how sad for you losing your dad hope you are coping. 90 was a good age but whenever our loved ones die it is too soon. My dear dad died in 1988 but I never feel he has left me. smile

When we went to the committal after the funeral the church yard was covered in a white frost, the birds were singing and the scene looked magical. We were invited to throw beautiful red roses all over the coffin. A fitting end to someone who loved nature so much.

NanKate Fri 20-Jan-17 07:23:43

Thanks radicalnan

morethan2 Mon 06-Feb-17 00:16:14

My MiL died 10 days ago. I had my three grandchildren and their cousin in the car when they decided to chat about it. One asked "what happens at a funeral?" while I tried to think of a sympathetic reply their 7 year old cousin told them very matter a factly " well they put your body in a box then take you to a nice place were people say lovely things about you, somtimes they read out a letter and sing songs. Then they have a party." My grandsons asked "why can't we go to the party?" Only to be told he couldn't. He then promptly asked me if he could come to my party when I died. I told him he could. He said "well you better write out the invitation now because otherwise they might not be allowed if I didn't. He wasn't in the least perturbed at my future demise. I too send my condolences to all those who grieve. Horrible isn't it.

NanKate Tue 07-Feb-17 09:01:46

Children sees things differently from us Morethan. Our 4 year old GS said to DH at the weekend. 'when you die Grandad can I have your mobile phone' grin

NanKate Tue 07-Feb-17 09:02:37

Morethan flowers

rosesarered Tue 07-Feb-17 10:01:37

Glad that all went well,( some funerals are better than others, obviously) and the children are fine Nankate smile

rosesarered Tue 07-Feb-17 10:04:18

We had a thread last year about funerals ( in all their manifestations) which I found very interesting because after all........nobody gets out alive.

Luckygirl Tue 07-Feb-17 12:14:08

On a similar theme - my DGD (6), was found sobbing over a photo of herself as a baby. When asked what the matter was, she said that she was sad because she would never be a baby again - an interesting take on mortality and the first real emergence of that understanding. I told her that she was a lovely baby and is now a lovely girl and has lots of exciting changes ahead before she becomes a grown up.

rosesarered Tue 07-Feb-17 12:26:07


grannyqueenie Tue 07-Feb-17 13:44:30

Children can be so wonderfully matter of fact about life and death! My youngest granddaughter had no hesitation, aged 6 at the time, in telling me she wouldn't be inviting me to her wedding as I'd most certainly be dead by then! Her older sister on the other hand, less of a pragmatist and more of a tender heart, was slightly teary at this point in the conversation. As, I must admit, was I!

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 07-Feb-17 14:25:19

My then 6yo handled my grandma's death pretty well considering (a lot better than I did sad) but two years later there are times when, out of the blue, she gets very upset and teary about missing her. All perfectly normal obviously (we miss her too - so much) and lovely that they had such a close relationship and happy memories, but hard when it happens

Anya Tue 07-Feb-17 14:34:12