Death and funerals

[deleted account] ( 13 moms have responded )

Ok stemming from 2 threads here.
One is death and our kids. I fully agree with not hiding death from our children no matter what age just make it age appropriate.
The other is and i'm sure i saw a thread on it but can't find it. How do you feel about children at funerals?
I have to attend a funeral on Friday for my grandfather who i was very close to and my children, more so my 4 yr old, were developing ( sudden death) a very strong bond with. My grandfather was brought up to not have children at weddings and i'm not sure if that also goes for funerals. I'd like to respect what he would have liked but i'm just not sure exactly what that would have been. I have a baby sitter lined up but my daughter keeps whinging every time i mention her staying with the baby sitter and i don't really have any other options as the kids father has to work and the funeral is 7 hours away...... Any help, opinions, advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Charlie - posted on 05/29/2011

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I think funerals are just as much for the deceased as they are for the bereaved , it is a time for people to say goodbye and get some closure , I think a good example ( although a bit different ) is my father said he didnt want photos at his funeral or flowers ...we had flowers and photos because it was part of our bereavement to share memories and show appreciation .

I think if it is important for your children to be able to say goodbye then they should be allowed to , I think it would be best to ask how your children feel , if they don't want to then leave them with the sitter but if it is important to them I would consider their relationship with their grandparent and respect that they need closure too .

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Becky - posted on 05/30/2011

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I absolutely would have my children at their grandfather's funeral. My children love their grandparents and I feel that opportunity to say goodbye is very important for them. I missed my grandfather's funeral because we were overseas when he died and we couldn't afford for all of us to fly back. Only my dad came back. That was 17 years ago, and I still don't really feel like I have closure on his death. But our family is like Heather's - funerals are very much a family affair. The children would be expected to be there.

Jenn - posted on 05/30/2011

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Nichole - at 20, shouldn't you have been able to make that decision yourself? And what does this mean: "I am very old school, like ancient times and think we should not hide what we have, do and will go through in life from kids, or pregnant women or even full grown adults"

[deleted account]

I'm going to ring my grandfathers wife today and see how she feels, see if she wants to see them. I know she wont be in the right headspace but if seeing the kids for 5 seconds helps her in anyway then i will surely be taking them. My 4 yr old one minute will say she wants to come with me the next she is changing her mind.
Nichole that sucks, 20 and didn't want you there :s

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 05/30/2011

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At 20 years old my parents didn't want me at my grandpa's funeral. And when I was pregnant with my son, we weren't invited to my boyfriends uncles fathers funeral because the older generation believes life should not be mixed with death, expecially new life. However, I am very old school, like ancient times and think we should not hide what we have, do and will go through in life from kids, or pregnant women or even full grown adults :(
I think it can be handled gracefully, and I think they should face life head on and know about what we all go through.

Brittany - posted on 05/30/2011

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I have been lucky enough to have only experience one death in my family since my children have been born. My oldest was a year old and honestly he brought light to a very dark situation. The day ended with family stories, positive memories, and laughs in remembered of the departed.

A suggestion, ask the babysitter if they could go with you. Let them know that it is important to you that the children say good-bye but, they may not want to sit for the whole thing. The babysitter can calmly and quietly take the kids outside to play or into another room. If you have a portable DVD player, they can watch a movie or bring some crayons with you. This would also provide you with some support seeing as how you would not be traveling 7 hours alone, I am also assuming that you are staying in town, so you would not be alone that night or on the way home.

Just a suggestion.

Rosie - posted on 05/30/2011

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i've taken my kids to every funeral i've been to. my grandpa recently passed and i took them all. my 4 year old is my youngest and he did great. i brought snacks, and paper, and stuff to keep him entertained. they wanted to get up once to go to the bathroom and get a drink and i happily obliged knowing full well they would do that at least once. they'r kids, they're gonna want to move a bit.
i think it;s important to see what people do at a funeral. i don't necessarily believe that going into huge depth about what went on is necessary however, or viewing the body. my oldest 2 didn't want to see the body and my youngest i wasn't going to let see it. no problem. my children havn't had one question about the funeral. meh, it's just not something they are fully capable of grasping yet. meh, i'd take them and just make sure you realize you might have to leave at some point during the service.

Lady Heather - posted on 05/30/2011

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Yeah, to me funerals are entirely different from other events. Unless a child says they do not want to go, I would always take them along (or unless circumstance like travel do not allow). Every funeral I've been to is really family-oriented because that's kind of the point - a gathering of family and friends to say goodbye. My daughter has been to two funerals and we have another coming up and I have no qualms about taking her. On the contrary it seems like the right thing to do. I have a toddler in tantrum stage and if she acts up I'll remove her from the room. Well probably the family will take turns entertaining her if she's a problem because that's what we do in this family. There will be two other little ones and my husband's young disabled cousin who yells what he wants when he wants because he doesn't know any different. I would never expect him not to be at his grandmother's funeral just because he isn't able to understand the situation entirely. He loved his grandma and he has every right to say goodbye.

[deleted account]

I guess it depends on how well-behaved your kids are. If they throw tantrums and freak over everything, you're not doing anyone any favors by being there. If they're calm & well-behaved, then yeah go. No, I don't make exceptions for kids with issues because when I'm grieving, I don't need to deal with a screaming kid.

Bonnie - posted on 05/30/2011

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If it is a close family member (which in this case it is), I would take them.

Jenn - posted on 05/30/2011

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I would (and have) take my kids to a funeral. They don't have to view the body if you aren't comfortable with that part - I know I don't even like to do that. I just hate looking at someone who isn't there any more - it's like a shell of a body - creeps me out. :S

[deleted account]

4 yr old 2 yr old and an almost 1 yr old. I have a place a little over half way to stay so the travel isn't a problem and the kids would be staying there anyway if i don't take them to the funeral.

Christy - posted on 05/29/2011

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I totally understand grandpa's theory about children and weddings, but funerals are all about the family. I personally think grandpa would want everyone there. The question at hand is, can you handle traveling with your 4 year old 7 hours each way?

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