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ESH please about the funeral?

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:13 am
by Ronni
My DIL's funeral is tomorrow. Visitation at noon, service at 3

I would very much appreciate any ESH you have to share about how to best help my granddaughters through this. They're 13, 11 and 7.

I'm at a loss. I will be there for them, of course I will. But I don't know what to expect, how to help them, support them, help them deal with their emotions, or if or how to respond if they're shut down and stoic.

I have experience with loss and grief. I have experience with helping adults through a difficult time. I am not prepared for this, and I don't know how to cope, what to do to help them.

Re: ESH please about the funeral?

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:40 pm
by vscook
When my FIL passed away, the grandkids huddled together in the back of the room. No one made them move forward, sit in the front, or do anything they were uncomfortable with. I think that's the best you can do in these types of situations. Sending much love to you and your granddaughters. (Hugs)

Re: ESH please about the funeral?

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:00 pm
by DeanW
All my life I've hated to go to funerals. My extended family went to a bunch of them and always wanted the children to go. When my father died I was 10 - and my Mother's sisters took charge of me and pushed me so far. Let's just say they made a lot of bad judgement calls. I sort of lapsed into survival mode and detached completely.

When my mother died - my husband, who did a lot of public speaking, did the eulogy. He smiled throughout and recounted happy times with her and his good memories. I noticed looking around the church that the children present were listening and smiling. My daughter (who was 14) still remembers being held by her older cousin that she barely knew. I learned a lot at that late date by watching them. I had "protected" my 6 year old by not bringing her to the funeral - but, in this case - that was not necessary. Funerals do not have to be the way I remember them when I was a kid. I noticed recently a move toward even calling it a celebration of life...at any rate, you will be with them - children are amazingly resilient....God bless.

Re: ESH please about the funeral?

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:22 pm
by Rhonda
My heart goes out you. I'm sorry this has happened. When any major event or crisis hits me, I'm still a mess, even after all I've learned in my recovery. One thing I do is imagine others feel what I am and then try to fix it for them. Grief is personal. I can't fix it. But I can watch closer for what others truly need or ask for which may be different than I'd expect. Some people, children included, need to be alone and others need constant touching. Some don't want to talk, others need to.

Children surprise me at how strong they can be. I've heard beautiful speeches by them at funerals. My nephews were so strong at my brothers funeral. My friends children were amazing and helped lift my spirits at their little sisters funeral. I've seen them watch adults for how to react.

I think they need to know they are safe, they are ok, they are loved. I think the days and weeks after are more difficult than the actual funeral. It sounds like your girls are surrounded by love. Let others share in that and make time to take care of yourself too. So you can be there for them in the weeks to come.

Prayers.

Re: ESH please about the funeral?

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:23 pm
by hope1
As mentioned by others everyone handles grief in their own way. Just being present for them during this time, when there is no words that can take away their pain. I liken it to a lighthouse that is a beacon during the storm. Steady, safe and reliable, helping to guide them to safety. I send my prayers to you and to your grandchildren that your higher power will guide you all. Hugs

Re: ESH please about the funeral?

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:04 pm
by Ma1954
Hold them, love them, you are everything they need. You will travel the phases of grief together. Hugs. Sue

Re: ESH please about the funeral?

Posted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:55 am
by belkar1
Sending warm hugs,

From my experience when my sister passed from cancer at 38. Her three girls took it different. All I found that brought comfort for them was my presence. Staying close, holding their hands, and holding their hands continuers today. they are adults now, but they can remember just about every minute of their moms passing.

Being with my nieces was one of the hardest things I had to do. I lost my little sister, they lost their mom. A hug, a wink, a cuddle, whispering I love you. Take your lead from them, then take time for you, your grief. We are here

Love
Belkar

Re: ESH please about the funeral?

Posted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:16 am
by LKSG8R
I wish being a pediatric trauma nurse could provide the perfect answer, but like others have said every child experiences grief differently. The one nugget I can offer is that school age children (especially the youngest) still engage in magical thinking. This means that if they ever wished for something (or even had a passing thought about) and then it comes true, they think it's their fault. You might want to subtly introduce and continually reinforce the Nar-Anon principle of the 3 C's.

My prayers are with you.
Lisa

Re: ESH please about the funeral?

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:56 am
by Ronni
Thank you, once again, for your wisdom and understanding. I appreciate your advice and used it to get through the day, and to help my granddaughters get through.

The service was lovely, and very very well attended. My DIL was very active in her church, started a couple of strong outreach programs for the needy, and was well liked. The chapel overflowed, and additional rows of seating were set up in the lobby to accommodate everyone. Several people spoke, and it was moving. Spontaneously, my oldest granddaughter jumped up at the last minute, and asked if she could say a few words.

She was spectacular! She spoke of her Mom's kindness, her love of family. She talked about how desperately she was going to miss her, how they were best friends, they texted and talked all the time. She said she would take care of her sisters just the way her Mom would have wanted, that she would work hard and do good, and that she was going to make her Mom proud of her. There wasn't a dry eye in the place. She broke down several times, but regained her semi-composure pretty quickly, and even cracked a couple jokes...like at one point she started to cry, and said something about she hadn't intended to speak and didn't know she would until she did, and she wished she'd known because then she wouldn't have worn mascara ;)

My RAS and I maintained pretty well until she talked. Then we just basically sobbed quietly on each other's shoulders. That part was rough.

Now we all just continue to put one foot in front of the other, and move forward. There's no getting over this...but we can all get beyond it and continue on. And with your help, I will, and then I can help my loved ones do the same.

Re: ESH please about the funeral?

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:07 am
by lbogie
I am SO very sorry Ronni!
Prayers and Love are sent your way for you, your Grandchildren and Son. None of this is easy.
One day at a time. May the good memories remain with your Family in this difficult time and Always in your Hearts!
Hugs,
Lois