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How do you deal with a death?

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by PotterWatch, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    Just curious what others would do in this situation. I have a friend who is in one of our weekly playgroups. My boys and her two older girls (she also has a toddler son) play together anytime we are both at playgroup. This past Wednesday, her husband passed away. I don't know what caused his death, but I do know that he had supposedly gotten on a plane Tuesday to go somewhere to get help for his alcohol use.

    I have already offered my help to her and hope that I can be of some long-term support for her. My question really has to do with the kids. We have told my boys about the death but I wonder what else we should do. The first time they see the girls, should they offer sympathies? Should they perhaps write a card and send it to the girls before we see them again? I'm just not certain how to handle that part of it. What would you do?

  2. Troyerbuilding

    Troyerbuilding On Vacation

    Aug 30, 2009
    Hartville OH
    Tell them the TRUTH.
  3. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    As for the children, I would just tell them to act like they normally would around the girls.

    Don't offer sympathy, don't offer apologies...the girls need to return to a normal life. They are dealing with feelings they've never felt before and won't be able to talk to anyone else who has had the same issues at their age in your play group.

    I know what I'm trying to say, but it's not coming out the way I want it to. They probably want to return to a feeling of normalcy and not have to worry about what everyone, especially their friends, think about their situation.
  4. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

    Apr 7, 2009
    Just my opinion but those children need at least one thing in their life that is not completely altered at this point and your children may be just that for them. I would just have my kids go on as usual and I might even remind my kids not to say anything to the other children about the death. The brief times that your kids are with them may be a sort of emotional escape from the tragedy.

    Edited to say: I understand that while you want to offer condolences or sympathy, you also have to consider how you would feel if everyone that you encountered brought the death up in conversation. Eventually everyone has to stop talking about it in order for the grieving process to have closure. I personally would be a squalling mess if everyone I talked to kept helping those end of life memories go on and on. Sometimes just a simple smile and a hug with no words can do more for a person's heart than anything you could ever say.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  5. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm

    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    All very good group advice above. I used to be a volunteer (and trained) leader in a grief counseling sessions that were designed for children of various ages with a support group for the surviving parent. (our groups were for children who had experienced a loss through death, or divorce.

    Yes, the children need normality in their lives......Often they will also need a place to work it or talk it out as well...
    Although the groups were based in a Methodist settings, they were open to all, Christians and non believers as well. Many times after a death the child or youth needs a time to talk it out, as well as to be normal, In this setting, there are structured workshops as well as time to share with other children of their age who are going through similar feelings and situations.

    Please pm me if I can help you find a group in your area, if you want to share the information with your friend.

    You are a wonderful person to be reaching out for help for this family.


    Be blessed and be a blessing............You certainly are.
  6. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Songster

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    I think it would help if you knew the relationship between the kids and their father. If he had a drinking problem and abusive........I think you know where I'm going with that one. OR they may have had a close relationship. They could be in denial or all sorts of things. You may just have to carry on in a normal way until they approach you first about their feelings. Sorry I'm starting to ramble. I personally deal with death by staying busy, busy and busier.
    It is nice to have caring people like you out there.[​IMG]
  7. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    we went through something like this when DD was in 1st grade 2 years ago. A little boy in her class lost his Dad to an illness so it was expected and there was time to prepare (as much as one can in that situation). The class knew that his dad was very sick and that he was going to die.

    When Dad died, the class sent the little boy cards that let them know that they missed him at school and that they were sorry that his dad had been sick and died.

    I do believe that it is a good thing to acknowledge to these little girls that they know that their Daddy had died. Otherwise, they think that no one knows or cares. Life will never be normal for them again and its okay for children to acknowledge death on whatever level they are able to .

    There are lots of great books in the local libraries on death and children. Maybe one of them could be helpful?

    Best of luck with a difficult situation...

  8. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

    Apr 7, 2009
    Oh I hope that my comment was not misunderstood. I do agree that the children should have an outlet to talk about their loss and a place where they can get professional assistance as well. I just was thinking that a play group might not be quite that place. [​IMG]
  9. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Offer for mom to come over for a cup of coffee and the kids can play in the yard while you watch them. If the girls bring it up, its ok to say how sorry you are, if they don't try to give them a few hours of rest from everything. Please don't pull back from the friendship, some people become uncomfortable and never call again, it adds to the loss, especially at a young age.
  10. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    Quote:yes tell your children the truth, and if at all possible try not to ask her or the kids how they are doing, cause the answer is horrible but most people don't want to say that and they are thinking "how the hell do you think I am doing???" It is human nature to ask that question, most of us do it without even thinking about it, it is a act of concern and care but in this one instance has the opposite effect.

    Also if you want to help her and have the time just go over there and do whatever mundane chores you can, laundry, cleaning, whatever you don't even have to get her to talk much, she may be in a haze for a while but she will appreciate the help more than you will ever know.

    ETA she may or may not want to talk about it, the problem I found with talking about it is that it is exhausting because there is no solution. In life if you think hard and work hard almost everything can be fixed. This is completely unfixable in every way it is the most frustrating feeling on top of enormous heartache and grief.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009

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