Children and loss

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from ash. Show ash's posts

    Children and loss

    sparky, this exact same thing happened to me. My mother took care of my older daughter (my daughter slept overnight and spent a day with her every week from the age of 4 months on) and she died when my daughter was 3, almost 4 and my youngest was about 6 months. My children are now 14 and 11.

    The most important thing to remember is that children this young do not have the same thought process as adults. They are also not able to verbalize their feelings very well, if at all. The truth is, you daughter will probably not remember much about your mother, but that is ok.

    First thing I would do is monitor her behavior. Because they are not so good verbally, sometimes they express their sadness in other ways (bed wetting in a toilet trained child, abandoning toys). Try to talk to her about these things if they occur. I would not mention anything about your mother dying or where your mother has gone unless she does ask.

    I would find "teachable" moments to talk about your mother. If you are decorating a tree for Christmas and you find an ornament she gave your daughter, talk to her about it. Look through photo albums. Both my kids loved watching my wedding video, where they could see my mother laughing and dancing. Encourage your father to do this when he is ready. Answer all her questions honestly (don't say she "went to sleep" or "went away").

    To be honest, I don't really think my older daughter actually remembers my mother, but she is able to talk about specific time she had with my mother, I think mostly because we talked about it so much. My youngest did not know her at all, but still asks about her and calls her "My Nana".

    I'm so sorry for your loss. This is such a difficult time. Please know that you are in the thoughts of many.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from beckjag. Show beckjag's posts

    Children and loss

    I lost my mother today from a massive stroke on Tuesday night. She had been taking care of my daughter -- almost 3 years old -- since I returned to work when she was 7 weeks old. My mother was such a huge part of my daughter's life, and now she's gone.

    I know that at her age, she won't understand what happened, but how do I tell her that she won't see Grandma any more? Tuesday afternoon was the last time she saw her Grandma, and she's already almost stopped asking for her. We go to my parents' house to see my father, and my daughter doesn't say anything about Grandma.

    Do I just let her forget for now, and then in a few years start talking about her? It's very important to me that both my daughters (the other is only 4 months old) know how much their grandmother loved them.

    I'm totally out of my depth here.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ingleterra. Show ingleterra's posts

    Children and loss

    For young kids, it takes awhile for them to really understand death andgrief. My father passed away a year ago, when my eldest son was 4. Hetook the news almost effortlessly, to the point where it seemed not tomatter at all. But over the last year, he's been asking questions. Hewants to know why Grandpa died (emphysema), was Grandma sad, where isGrandpa now, am I sad ... But there were a couple of times when hesimply forgot, and asked me when we were going to see Grandpa next.

    So don't be surprised if your daughter's reactions change over time.

    What I've done with my son is to answer his questions directly, butbriefly. (I can tell when my son has heard enough or when he needs moreinfo to make sense of things, so I try not to overload him withdetails.) I'm spiritual but not religious, so I couldn't comfort himwith talk about heaven or an afterlife. But I did tell him that Grandpalives on in our hearts, and that as long as we love him, he will bewith us.

    Also, don't be surprised if your daughter starts asking questions abouther own mortality. My son was a year older than your daughter whenconfronted with this, but my father's death made my son realize thatwe're all mortal, and for awhile, he really worried about dying too. Ittook awhile, but I was eventually able to reassure him that he didn'thave to worry about that for a long, long time.

    And include your daughter in your grief. Let her be a comfort to you,and you can be a comfort to her. As painful as this is for your wholefamily, this is a chance to teach her about love, grieving, andsupport. She'll learn about her own power to give comfort and showlove, and that will help her grow, too.

    I'm so sorry for your loss.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from beckjag. Show beckjag's posts

    Children and loss

    thank you.

    Right now it just breaks my heart that she won't remember, and that my 5-month old had so little time with my mother.

    She's not fully trained yet, but has actually gotten better about using the toilet in the past 2 weeks. She has had a few night terrors, and is clingier than usual. We've been looking at photos for the memorial service and she likes looking at them as well.

    I keep telling her that Grandma loved her very much and wants her to be happy, but that's all I can come up with that she understands.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Children and loss

    Leas, isn't it interesting, how someone takes care of us? Think it wasmeant to be that your niece should be with you that evening. You werenot supposed to be alone. Having her there with you and someone to talkto and cry with gave you something to occupy your mind.

    I am sure she will be fine. Kids are a lot more resilient than we sometimes give them credit for.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from beckjag. Show beckjag's posts

    Children and loss

    Thank you
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from insideout1234. Show insideout1234's posts

    Children and loss

    First, let me send my condolences--I know it is so hard to loose a mother suddenly (I lost mine that way as well). My children were very young when it happened as well (one had just turned 3, the next was 4 and oldest was 10).

    I was a wreck. I just told them that Nana had to go to heaven with God and that we will see her someday when we get there. I know it depends on your religious/moral beliefs, but the point was I was keeping it simple.

    All of my kids remember my mother (they are pretty much grown up now). I have pictures all around my house of her, I tell them stories about her when I was growing up etc. They think it is so cool that she decorated wedding cakes for a living...they ask questions etc.

    Don't be offended or worried that your daughter isn't asking or noticing. My kids later (as they got older) told me that because they saw how sad I was during this time, they didn't want to remind me (so sweet) of her passing.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Children and loss

    Hi Leas, your response to your niece made me cry. (I am sure you weretalking about your friend, that was killed by the cop.) What a lovelyand sensitive aunt you are. And what a nice way to deal with yourniece. Yes, children do not understand or comprehend death. So we, theadults, have to do the best we can to comfort them. Think you did awonderful job doing just that.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Children and loss

    I remember hearing about Maria Shriver's book....it was really well received.

    I googled it, and here's the Amazon review.

    Your child might be a little too young, but you might find it comforting anyway.

    http://www.amazon.com/Whats-Heaven-Maria-Shriver/dp/0307440435

    PS - I hope you are doing as okay as you can....what a terrible shock. Take good care of you!

     
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