Advice on helping my 5yr.old and 7yr.old and us as parents deal with the loss of a loved one.

Krystal - posted on 02/14/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I have 2 daughters. A 5yr.old and a 7yr.old.They just lost their nana to cancer. My 5 yr.old cries about it and wants to send her nana things. My 7yr.old asks alot of questions about it. Neither one totally understands that she is not here. As for myself this was my mother. I am very close to her and I continue to blame myself for her death. My husband is dealing ok but is still very hard for him that he can't concentrate in college. i do a have a sister that is supported. We lost mom on 1-30-09. Any advice would be nice. Thank you

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Petro - posted on 02/21/2010

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I have the privilege to still have both my parents around but know that if God decided to take them home 1 day they will go to a better place where the problems and pain of this world won't cause them pain any more. The heard will take a long time to pass, but you have a husband who loves you and 2 vary beautiful little girls depending on you to be strong for them, I know that your mom would want you to be strong for them.
On 15 December 2008 on our way to church we received a call that my mother in law started vomiting blood and have died. I explained to my 5 year old son who were 4 that granny went to heaven and if he looks up in the sky he will see 1 star shinning vary bright, that is her looking after us always smiling. When his little dog died I told him that Jessie is laying at granny's feet and they are playing and running around, he said that he also want to die and go and play with them then he will watch me form heaven. Always remember children have huge imaginations and although we don't think so they can cope with a lot.
Best wishes to you & your family

Melissa - posted on 02/21/2010

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My son who is six never got to meet my mother she passed of cancer when I was 8 years old. He just recently lost his great-grandfather and he still asks if angels can come back to visit. He mentions how he misses him and his grandma (my mom) Some suggestions is let the girls send up a balloon (reference Jones). I keep prisims in my car and when the light hits them and sends rainbows into the car we call them "Grandma kisses" We watch the moon at night and every so often it reflects into a cross and that is his great grandad sending his love. This happen the night of Guitos funeral and it stuck with him. He said that it was the angels letting us know Guito is safe in heaven. We find pennies on the ground all the time, and my son will say "look grandma or Guito sent us a penny from heaven." My deepest condolences to you and your family.

Colleen - posted on 02/20/2010

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What we do is acknowledge what the child has said, tell them that you miss the loved one also and talk about the person, the good things or things you remember, stories about nana. It's great to have them draw pictures and work through the issues. Tell them Nana would have loved this. They may even say that they want to die so they can be with the departed because they really don't know literally what they are saying. Kids don't get that death is permanent. Remember to take care of you so you can take care of them. Let the guilt go, you didn't give her cancer. You did the best you could and when you can deal better everyone will gain confidence and support from you.

Kim - posted on 02/20/2010

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I recently lost my Grandmother mid Jan. My kids and I used to visit all the time, although I know its not the same, because they are closer to my Mother. We were able to see her a few days before she died. I think it helped my youngest, 3yr old, see her sleeping the last day. We did bring her to the Wake, we couldn't leave just her with someone while the rest of the family went. I also have a 7 yr old, she seems to be handling it ok. I hear her playing with our 3 yr old saying Grandma died or Grandpa died and we are sad. I think it lets her get it out. I told my kids that heaven is beautiful and wonderful and where we are suppose to go and that they will see her again and it will be forever. And that she is with God. It is ok that they don't understand that she isn't around anymore. I forget about losing my Grandmother too. I called her everyday around Noontime for 10 yrs, every day around Noon I think I need to call her and remember. Sometimes its just too hard to think about it. I know it will get easier.

And the way you handle it can make it harder on them. If you are crying all the time or depressed they could be thinking dying is a very bad thing instead of it being great for your Mother, she is in Heaven with God and not suffering anymore, but sad for us, because we miss them. I know its hard, I have had a few m/c's and it is so hard to keep it together and not fall apart for the kids but its really important to try. Take some time and cry in the shower or at night but try to keep it together for the kids. My Mother just had 5 of her Grandchildren over for the night. It helps her to keep busy.
Some ideas I've heard others do is having their kids send balloons to heaven, maybe they can send them to Nana. Or if its a card you can tell your daughter that Nana can see it from Heaven. It also helps them to express how they are feeling. Others make a little garden in a loved ones memory. I hope this helps some. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Amy - posted on 02/18/2010

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So sorry for your loss.
My children lost their Grandpa (Pa) when they were 4 and 2. They are now 10 & 8. We made a picture album. All the pictures were pictures of Pa and the kids. We call it the Pa Book. Any time we are missing Pa we get out the Pa Book and look at it and tell stories and talk about our memories of him. We told the kids anytime they wanted to talk to him he would be listening with his love for them. The love never goes away. The kids also have a picture of Pa and them that is on their dresser next to their bed and they say goodnight to him every night. I hope this helps your family like it has helped ours.

Nicolaza - posted on 02/18/2010

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I am sorry for your loss. I lost my grandma 12/26/09. It was so hard because it was unexpected. We had just spent Christmas with her. My 9 year old son, seems to be keeping most of his emotions inside. I went and collected pictures of Grandma and sat down with my son and we start sharing memories about her. We laugh, cry and hug each other. This seems to be helping us cope with the emptyness she left. I wish you and your family peace and comfort.

Hope - posted on 02/18/2010

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I am sorry you are going through this but I totally understand. in the last 4 years my children (ages 25 [she is mentally about 7], 11, 7 and 5) have lost my best friend, their great-grandmother, paternal grandmother, a newborn cousin & very close family friend they called pawpaw. My 11 year old even at 7 understood Heaven and that they were waiting for us there. But my 7 year old daughter is very emotional and she still hurts from all the losses. BUT what we do is every week they write a short note on a plain helium balloon and they "send them to Heaven". As they get older, like my 11 year old does, they know they can't really send the messages to Heaven but she knows she can talk to them at anytime. By allowing my lil ones this it seems to help them cope better.
I hope this helps..

Sarah - posted on 02/18/2010

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I teach 2nd grade and have had several kids in the past who are dealing with this very issue. 5 and 7 year olds really don't understand that she is really gone in body, but they can understand that she is here in spirit believe it or not, kids are more receptive to adults and deal with it better.

How about having each girl decorate a box (cigar box, box from the craft store,e tc...)When your girls are really emotional or want to talk about it, they can draw pictures while they are talking, write little messages, etc....then place them in the box.

Also, I have had kids who have had great success with group conseling sessions with kids their own age, they even offer retreats in many areas that deal with this......kids sometimes need to talk about it, especially girls, to make sense of it for themselves.

Hope this helps!

Brandi - posted on 02/17/2010

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well first off let me say sorry for you lose. I had the same thing happen me last year when my mother passed, i helped my son by not letting him think that it was okay not be sad let them cry if need be or if they want to talk about what happened talk to them about the worst thing you or anyone in this situation is to try and make them forget the person exsisted or thatit just didnt happen.I always so show my son pictures of my mother talk to him about when i was a kid with her and other things of that nature. Just try and keep there memory alive and show them that death isnt a bad or scary thing and eventually all they will remeber are the good things and believe it or not by you talking to them it will also help you deal and cope with it too. I hpe this helps and again im sorry for you lose.

Amy - posted on 02/17/2010

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My son was 3 when I lost my dad. We talk about him lots and I tell him (and I believe this) that my Dad is up in heaven playing penny-ante poker with my grandma and God. Every time we find a penny on the ground, my Dad dropped it from heaven. Hope this helps - maybe your mom is doing something that she really liked to do???

Lori - posted on 02/17/2010

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First of all, my sincerest condolences to you and your family. My heart goes out to you, as a mother is one of the hardest losses to bear.

I lost my mom in October 2008 when my daughter was just 4. My mom watched my daughter from the time she was born until my mom went into the hospital in September 2008. Losing her was very tough for me and even tougher on my daughter. During the funeral, Dana (my daughter) colored many pictures for my mom to "take with her to heaven." We sat down and talked about what would happen to Grandma, and how she's watching over us. I told Dana that she has an extra special guardian angel now and that Grandma would be watching over her and helping her with things. I think the best thing you can do is to just keep talking with your children...you'll be surprised how much it helps you too!

Brittney - posted on 02/16/2010

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I recently losy my father to cancer on 11/15/09. Myself and all three of my daughters were extremely close to him and we have all been going through a lot, I am also a college student so I know exactly what all this is that you are going through. We have had some rough times. I encourage all three of my daughters ages 12, 9 and 3 to talk to him whenever they want. I told them he will always be with them and always be listening to them. My 3 year old has conversations with him as if he were still here, and we wonder if she really does. Let them grieve however they need to, continue to look at pictures, tell stories and keep her a part of your lives with your children. They will appreciate knowing her and all the wonderful things about her as they grow, that is what we plan to continue with our daughters, we have many more happy memories now than sad ones, but discuss or think about him everyday of our lives.

Mic - posted on 02/15/2010

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Sorry for your loss. My girls were 3 & 5 when I lost my father. One way that helped them was to get a balloon (helium filled) and have them whisper to the balloon how much they love and miss him, give it a kiss and hug and let it go. Now his angel gets the message in heaven. Its been 5 1/2 yrs and we still do this from time to time when we miss him or feel sad.

Melissa - posted on 02/15/2010

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Krystal, I'm so sorry for your and your daughters' loss. My dad died 12-9-09 and my 9 y/o son adopted my usual attitude of burying his feelings deep down. I'm trying really hard to overcome that and want him to, as well, so I talk about his grandpa to him: things he used to do that were funny, what he and my son did together, etc. It's helping both of us accept the loss much more easily.

Amy - posted on 02/15/2010

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Go ahead and let them send things to Nana whether my mail or by talking out loud to her or even the star suggestion. The same thing might help you out as well. Writing down your frustrations about how and why your mother passed may help you deal with the guilt and blame. Answer all questions as honestly as you can. You may have to take a break from school which will be hard but right now you need to focus on you and your family. Schools do have policies for behearvment. You may also want to find a behearvement support group. They help out greatly by having someone who can empathize with you may be the best thing. I am so sorry for your loss. I will say prayers for you and your family.

Reema - posted on 02/14/2010

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wen my son died i sat my childre down and explained how heaven was full of angles and how every1 was happy and even animals spoke in heaven , that is was like a really good birthday party , then wen it was dark i too them out and picked out a star and told them thats the house that a angle has and how that angle was looking after their brother till mummy could go and look after him and that he is very happy thats y the star is shinning so bright so anytime they wanted 2 c or spk 2 him they could look 4 a star and do so

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