Another fun topic, Funeral's?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by totoro, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    My DHs' Grandma is looking like she wont make it much longer... she has been slowly getting worse. But this pretty bad.

    They are in Indiana... by my mother in law. My question is, the girls know her. But were not super close to her. She had Alzhiemer's pretty much since they were born. I come from such a messed up family, was not allowed to my Mother's Funeral...

    When Grandma passes, do we bring the girls??? Is it appropriate? Do they need to see death at these ages? With their issues?
    I know mother in law will want the whole family there for her own reasons... I don't want to make anyone mad and I will go if needed. I just have not had to deal with this yet???

    Thanks for any advice I am trying to have an idea before hand. husband was at first "of course we will go" but after some thought now, he isn't sure...
  2. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    your kids are 6 and 3??? I dont think they need to be at a funeral yet. go and visit briefly yourself, have the girls with someone else while you do the viewing and let the girls come to the wake after.
  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I was in a similar situation a few years back. My mother in law would have kept them here at home but I wanted them to be able to see their cousins and be part of the family gathering. A family member arranged for a trusted lady in the church to watch them during the funeral and cemetary visit.

    Then again last year my difficult child decided he didn't want to attend the service but he was old enough to play his handheld video game without supervision this time around.
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I did not bring my 10 year old to her grandpa's funeral - she barely knew him though. If she was close I may have.
  5. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I don't think there is any right or wrong answer to this. When I was young, my parents shielded me from death. Now, I have a difficult time at wakes and funerals. I'm very uncomfortable at wakes.

    My best friend always brought her children to wakes and funerals from the time they were babies. Her children have a very healthy view of death. However, she doesn't have any difficult children.

    My husband didn't think that it was ok to bring very young children to wakes and funerals. Although I disagreed with him, I went along with his wishes, as all of the family members who died when my difficult children were young, were on his side.

    I think when making a decision, you definitely have to consider your children's issues. I think you have to do what you truly believe is best for your children and not try to keep the peace. in my humble opinion, there will always be someone who won't be happy with whatever decision you make. You need to do what is best for your family.

    Sorry about your husband's grandma. I'll keep your family in my thoughts and prayers...WFEN
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I am going to think out loud.

    First, I agree with WFEN that there is no right or wrong answer. Miss Manners never wrote out etiquette on that. It depends on a case by case basis.

    You have 2 difficult child girls. A 3 year old easy child is probably not capable of understanding the finality of death and may be further confused by a funeral or a wake. Wakes are creepy for little kids. My older daughter was 12 when she came to my brother in law's wake. Her take on it then was that he looked like a doll, and that she was afraid that he was going to jump up and surprise everyone.

    Ok, now the 6 year old, who is a carbon copy of Tink. It is going to be a difficult thing to explain it to her. If you bring her, you may very well have one obsessed little girl on your hands.

    That is not to say that any of this is wrong. Some kids work through things better this way.

    And I could be way off. I was just musing. In your shoes, I might try to explain death to them in a somewhat matter of fact way, and encourage them to draw gramma a picture. See if it can be put in the casket with her.
  7. Jen

    Jen New Member

    When my sister in law dad dies and their kids were older than yours, they didnt bring them.
    I once went to a Great Aunts funeral when I was around 12, I really didnt know the lasy well. All my family of women stood around her pattind her hand as she lay in the coffin. That night went home and to bed which I shared with my sis growing up. I awoke in the middle of the night, looked at my sis, and her face transcended into my Great Aunts face, as she lied in the same position as she did in the coffin.

    To this day I pat no hand of a dead person.

  8. Star*

    Star* call 911


    We've had so many questions about death and dealing with kids and funerals I got a book called "The Grieving Child" by Helen Fitzgerald. So I'll quote out of the book what it says about children and taking to funerals.

    #33. Should children be taken to funerals?

    After the death of a loved one you may wonder whether you should take your child to the funeral and you may worry about the effect of such a sad event on your child's well being. Why not just send him or her across the street to be with friends and watch TV or play video games?
    Why are funerals so important? Funerals are for the living. They give us the opportunity to connect with family and friends, to offer love and support to one another. Funerals are occasions when an otherwise repressive society allows us to express our sadness through tears and crying. Unless there are very special circumstances it is my strong feeling that your child should not be denied the support or the opportunity for mourning that a funeral can provide.

    42. When not to take your child to the funeral.
    I can think of a few circumstances under which I would not take a child to a funeral, other that if the child refuses to go. One reason might be to avoid a frightening scene that could occur. Example: You know that your great aunt Martha, being highly emotional, will do something like throw herself into the coffin of the deceased. Children should not be exposed to this. In such circumstances, i would arrange with the funeral director to have a special time for my child to be with the deceased when Aunt Martha wasn't around. During the wake or funeral the child could stay with loving friends. With older children you can talk to them ahead of time about Aunt Martha's emotional personality and discuss some ways they might help her if she starts losing control. You know your family best and how they behave, and there are times when you have to be aware of special considerations.

    you know your family best, but I recall my sister always absolutely refusing at every age to go to any funerals. The first funeral she attended in her life was at age 33 when our Father passed away. He was creamated so there was no viewing, but my Mom put together a lovely picture board of memories for everyone and there was a service so people could grieve. To this day my sister hasn't really dealt with his death, and I often wonder if she had gone to funerals when she was younger and dealt with death; would she have been prepared for our Dad's passing?

    As a Christian I don't believe death is final, rather it's the beginning of life. I can remember going to the wakes and people were somber, crying, sad and yes...I have that aunt that threw herself in the casket with the body, took pictures with my dead grandmother and a cousin who slung himself over the casket after he took a knee and a rosary and made a spectacle out of himself wailing and sobbing. (My grandmother lived with us, and he never came to visit) His act to this day is still being rated by my family. And I :picture: from that great aunt to prove it.

    Hope this helps
    If Not I can look something up in this book, its really well written.

    Sorry for the impending grief -
  9. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    My kids attended my grandmothers funeral, mainly because there were so few people she knew where we lived (she had moved there only a few years before her death). difficult child was 7 and easy child was 11. They handled it very well. We talked to them before hand and explained that g'ma is no longer in her body, but is in heaven, so when they see her..don't be sad because she is in heaven.
    If they were toddler age however, there is no way I would have brought them. Just because 3 yr olds can't help but cry, wiggle, say things outloud...and I wouldn't want to take away from someones grieving by those things happening.
    Just my 2 cents though.
  10. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I've been to many funerals, all as a child. They did not traumatize me but they weren't a lot of fun. However, I refuse to go to them as an adult. I've seen death close up. I understand death, I've usually said good-bye before they have died. As was said, funerals are for the living.

    That being said, I do believe if a child is close to someone, it is appropriate and important to allow the child to say good-bye. Sometimes that finality is needed. If not close to the deceased, then I think it is up in the air.

    My grandfather died when I was around three. I'd never met him. My father went to his funeral. My mother stayed home with my brother and me. Oddly, to this day I feel I missed something. I never knew him but he was my grandfather! I wished I could have at least said good-bye since I'd never been able to say hello. I don't think I belonged at the funeral or the wake (even though our family wakes are Irish fun) but I think I should have been allowed a few moments with him.

    You know your kids best. Do what you think is right for them, not what others tell you you should do.
  11. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I just brought my kids to Fla in June for my uncle's passing. They did not have a formal funeral. I don't think I would have brought them, if they did. They had a church service for him, with pictures. He was cremated. My kids did not see him dead.

    The service was good. They were well behaved. They didn't quite understand the scope of it, but Missy knew what had happened and why everyone was sad. It was a military funeral with a flag ceremony and gun salute. It was touching and I'm glad my kids were there for that.

    I was glad we brought the kids, because they got to spend time with their cousins and our family. Had they had a full formal funeral service, I would have opted to have someone stay with the kids during the wake and taken them to the repass later, to be with our family.
  12. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    For what it's worth, I was never shielded from funerals or anything surrounding death growing up. Death was treated as just another fact of life so, as per usual, my mother was very blunt and matter of fact about it. My first funeral was at age 9 for my grandpa. He lived with us so there was no way I would have gotten out of it, not that it was ever a consideration. Many funerals came after his and each was just a matter of fact thing for me. I do not believe I have any scars from attending funerals my whole life (I will not attend wakes with open caskets, however).

    I personally think 3yo and 6yo may be too young for an open casket type of wake/viewing. I would bring the kiddos with you, but arrange for a trusted friend or family member to watch them for anything involving an open casket, but allow them to attend the after reception so they have the opportunity to see how people deal with grief and death of a family member, as well as to visit with other family members.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I had not been to a funeral until a friend committed suicide at Christmas my first year away at college. The funeral was closed casket by necessity. I had a horrible time with it. I eventually realized how upset I was and got some grief counselling. Much of my problem was anger because my friend did not reach out and grab the help many of us offered to him.

    When I was in high school the lady who owned the bookstore that I worked in died. I will call her Mrs. A for this.Her grandchildren had children. My gift to the family was to stay at the house during the funeral and watch the children. I had 2 infants (both about 6 mos old, not twins), 2 little boys about 5 and a 10yo boy. The 10yo had originally said he wanted to go to the funeral, then he just couldn't handle it. I had babysat these children from time to time in the bookstore, so I was not stranger to them. I had visited Mrs A in the hospital many times the previous months. I had said my goodbye, and really felt I could help the family more by babysitting than by going to the funeral.

    When my own gpa died I was 13. We had just moved to our new home in a new state, where my folks both had new jobs. $$$ was really tight. My bro insisted on going. I said I could go, if needed, but I was NOT going to the open casket viewing part. My gpa had ASKED me to remember him the way he was when we were sitting on the dock in the middle of hte night pretending to fish. It was during my last visit with him that he asked me specifically not to go to the funeral. My parents respected my wish and my bro's wish. It was difficult, but dad stayed with me and mom took bro to the funeral in another state. My bro was angry with me for many years for not going to the funeral. It took quite a lot of work to get though this, but we did.

    in my humble opinion, every family is different. Will having your children their help you? Them? Distract you? Upset others? I don't have the answers, but your instincts will show you the way.