death and children

  1. My grandmother passed away last night (wednesday) and we are having her viewing friday-saturday and she will be buried on sunday...My question is I have \two sons one 2 1/2 years old and a 1 1/2 year old. Should I let them go to the funeral home or not? I am not going to say what I think I want to wait and see what other people have to say and the points they give. My kids saw my grandmother a lot and so they will ask about her what do I say....Thanks
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   Spidey's mom
    I'd have to say that they are too young to even understand about death so what would be the point? I would absolutely take an older child though. I was so frightened of death that I refused to go to my step-father's funeral when I was in the 7th grade. I wish now my mom had made me go. I'm not sure what had me scared . . .

    I'm sorry about your grandma. My maternal grandma and I are very close and she was active and living in her own home until she recently broke her hip. Now she is in a nursing home and quickly losing her memory. I miss her already.

    Best wishes.
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    Although after thinking about your question and knowing that they were close to her, it might be a good way to broach the subject. I'm just not sure they are old enough that they will even remember it. And it depends on whether you believe she is just gone forever or you believe that she is in heaven. This is a hard subject . . . .really got me thinking. My youngest is 19 months . . .I'd probably take him. I'm interested in what others will have to say too. hmmmmmmmm . . . ...
  5. by   researchrabbit
    I have to say that I was made to go to funerals at a very young age (there were many; my parents were the youngest of very large families). It was NOT a good experience. First of alll, it was very difficult seeing all the adults crying. Secondly, it was open casket and everyone (including me) had to go look at the dead person (the first one I remember was my grandma, whom I loved).

    I sure didn't understand it, and detest funerals TO THIS DAY. My kids have instructions to throw a big party and then fly to Lake Louise to dispose of my ashes.
  6. by   kids
    I wouldn't have taken mine when they were that young...maybe around 3 or 4...at younger ages they are not old enough to understand the concept and to young to comprehend the explaination. I would have told mine that (the loved one) had gone to be with Jesus and left it at that unless they ask more questions (if that is a part of your belief system).

    And my condolences on the loss of your Grandmother. My Mom passed away last Friday night.
    Last edit by kids on Mar 6, '03
  7. by   lpnga
    I agree with all of you...I do not want to take my children and my husband does not want them to go either, but my mom and dad want my children to go. I would not even let them go and see her in the hospital because I was afraid they would be scared if they saw tubes and things everywhere. My uncle said when he went to his grandfathers funeral that he said he had a pretty bed and he thought he was sleeping. and I thought that would be good but then on the website I read it said that kids would associate sleeping with never waking up again and might be scared to go to sleep..I did not even think of that...and if you say that the person was old then they will think only old people die and would be scared to get old. or even if you say that the person was sick then the child would be scared when they got sick...it said to say that the person has died and when someone dies they don't eat, drink, walk, talk, or feel anymore. I thought that was something good to tell a 4 year old...I think that I will tell them when they ask where is Grammy that she is with Jesus..we have a picture of Jesus at the last dinner and My son says "Jesus eatting" and I will say that is where she is with Jesus...
  8. by   lpnga
    another fear I had is that they would associate (if he thought she was sleeping) with crying...I then thought he would think when I cry someone has died or is sleeping....this is a huge issue...
  9. by   Jay-Jay
    My grandmother passed away when I was 3 1/2. The day before she died, my parents visited her in hospital. Kids were not allowed in, so we had to wait in the car, and a long, hot boring wait it was.

    The next afternoon, my uncle phoned my mom to tell her of her totally unexpected and abrupt passing. (She'd been in hospital for surgery on an infected toenail, of all things!) I was not allowed to attend the viewing OR the funeral.

    TO THIS DAY, I REGRET NOT HAVING A CHANCE TO SAY GOODBYE TO HER!!!

    She was a special lady, and in spite of being so young, I do have some fond memories of her. People doubted my memories could be accurate, as I was so very young, so one day I sat down with my dad, and told him what I recalled. He said that everything I remembered was 100% accurate!

    I don't think I should have been allowed to attend the funeral, but I think I could have handled the visitation. I knew what death was, and I understood. Many years later, when visiting her gravesite, I saw the date on the tombstone, and was totally blown away.

    "That date must be wrong," I said to the friend who was with me, "I remember her death as clearly as if it was yesterday!" Too bad I wasn't allowed in to the hospital, or I'd have at least one clear, last memory of seeing her alive, too.
    Last edit by Jay-Jay on Mar 6, '03
  10. by   lpnga
    See I think the same thing...that they wont remember when they get older....i know they 1 1/2 year old wont but I don't think that the 2 1/2 year old will either...
  11. by   Lausana
    I'd probably say no, unless there is someone who can entertain them in another area of the funeral home. My sister and cousin's son were both 5 when my grandma died last fall, and they were just old enough to understand, any earlier I think would've been too confusing. Even at that age, they took it differently, so it just depends on the child. Good luck to you.

    Condolences to you and your family
  12. by   hapeewendy
    my condolences to you and your family also...
    I dont have any children so I'm not the best authority on the subject but I would have to say that no , I wouldnt bring kids that young to a funeral....
    they do not have any concept of death at this age and bringing them to the funeral will not change that .....
    true that they are young and will not have any memories of their own of your grandmother, but the good thing is , you can give them memories by sharing yours with them when they are older

    again my thoughts are with you
    hugs
  13. by   semstr
    I would not take them to the viewing, but when they are standing near to you, why not take them to the cemetry?
    I would stand on the side though, since kids at this age, are known for wanting to run around!
  14. by   Disablednurse
    Sorry for your loss. I am not a parent, but when my grandmother died, my nephew went to the funeral. He remembered nanny and did real well at the funeral and the cemetary. If your child is used to going to church or places where they are expected to sit still and be quiet, they should be fine.

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