Hello. My children’s great grandfather passed away suddenly last week at 91 years of age. He was in great shape but ended up passing away from West Nile Virus. To say the least it was a shock even at that age. We were all super close to him and miss him so much already. My kids are having a hard time dealing with the loss. We took them to the funeral and it was very tough watching them go through this. They are 9 & 14, so not babies by any means. They understand what it means and so we thought it was a good idea taking them to the funeral. They just had such a tough time of it that I’m having second thoughts. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken them?? Does anyone have any advice on helping them through this? I have ordered the book Helping Children Cope with the Loss of a Loved One: A Guide for Grownups Paperback. I was told that was a VERY good book. So if anyone has been through this before can you tell me how you got your kids through this? Any advice is very welcome. And I thank you in advance.
I am sorry for your loss. I have not been through this with children ,but I went through it as a child. I lost my grandmother around that same age and I was extremely close to her. My parents just gave me space and time to grieve and I eventually got to the point where I could talk about her and I was ok. Don’t beat yourself up about the choice you made to take them to the funeral. Funerals are hard for everyone.
Grief is a hard emotion for EVERYONE - no matter the age. It has stages and everybody will be
processing those stages at their own pace.
It is, in my mind, the best to deal with death and grief as a family in a multigenerational setting.
You did nothing wrong.
I’m sorry for the loss you and your family are going through… I lost my grandmother when I was 12 years old and I feel like it effected me so profoundly at the time. It was the first person that I knew and loved that ever died. It was just ‘strange’ because I had never experienced loss and I think as a kid it just makes you stop and face a stage in life that you have never had to encounter before. I agree completely with the other ladies that you did nothing wrong! I think this is one of those things that the kids will just have to go through and work out. It personally helped me to be able to bring my grandmother up and even share some laughs saying, “Remember that time when Grandma did this…” I don’t know of any books or particular skills that will help you specifically with your kids and dealing with this, but I feel confident that with your love, support, and some time and conversation that the kids will be just fine. Hang in there, you guys will make it through this as a family and I will say a prayer for you all.
I don’t really have any advice to offer you, but just wanted you to know our prayers are with you & your family in your loss.
As hard as it is for kids to see a loved one pass away, studies have shown again and again that it’s much harder when people don’t go to a funeral or don’t get to say a final good bye.
My father died when I was 8, and one thing about children is that they may need to process it several times as they grow–as their minds grow and change, they may need to talk through it again or rehash, and it may be hard again at times.
Don’t be afraid of it being hard. That’s because they loved him. Don’t be afraid to talk about him in front of them–you aren’t “creating” the bad feelings, you are helping to bring those bad feelings out so that they know what to do with them. They will learn how to process the death by seeing how you process the death. If you have pictures around, keep them out. If you don’t–consider whether you want a nice picture out as a way to remember him. Pray for your kids, love on them, and walk through this with them. Losing a loved one can be very painful, but it’s made better by having loving people around us.