How Do You Tell Kids Grandpa Pased and How Much Should They Be Involved?

Updated on March 19, 2009
G.G. asks from Aurora, IL
4 answers

My father in law pased and I am looking for ideas to tell my boys (4 & 7). I also don't know how much and should the attend the visitation? Funeral? etc

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answers from Chicago on

G. G,
You must be going thru alot in figuring out how to tell your two precious children about they grandpa. I am not sure if you and your church go to church and the reason I say this is that my husband passed away by being a part of a church which helped alot. My daughter was 2 1/2 and since she was very young I still had to tell her that her daddy went to heaven to live there. Now that she is almost 18 her grandpa passed away 3 years ago she took it very hard, even though she knows that he is in heaven is loss her beloved grandpa. He was a wonderful man. I say all this to say that children tend to deal with it a little better than what we think, but as they get older the realty of life and death is more serious.
I will keep you and your children in prayer. I am so sorry for your loss.

L. M



answers from Chicago on

My grandfather died a day after my daughters birthday in january and it hit me really hard. I did tell my kids (8 & 6) that their great grandad had died and they were emotional. They had come to know him real well and loved him very much. (Btw, my kids did not attend the funeral nor the wake as this would have been to much for them to handle) To my surprise they took it a lot better than I did. Now everytime they pray before going to sleep they pray for their great grandfather to keep an eye on them. One way that made it easier for me to explain it to my kids was that grandfather was now in heaven. In a very happy place and that he now watches over them the way angels do. This helped them a great deal and now they think of him as being alive just not here on earth with us but in heaven. My condolenses to your family and husband. Best of luck in however you pursue in telling your kids of their tragic loss.




answers from Chicago on

I would just share that everyone dies eventually and grandpa was older, the cycle of life type of talk. I think it is fine to bring them to the visitation and funeral especially if they had a relationship with him so they could get some closure. My brother died when my kids where 10, 7, 2 1/2 and my fourth was born three days after he died. My 10 year old took it the hardest because I believe he was old enough to get it more than the others. My seven year old was sad but it didn't affect her like it did her older brother. The 2 1/2 year didn't have a clue what was happening, he was able to say that uncle is in heaven and isn't gonna play with him anymore. You know your children best and you'll make the right decision for them. When making your decision don't making on trying to shelter them from the scariness of death because then they will be afraid of it. It needs to be treated as it is a cycle of life that happens and they need to know it. This is an opportunity for them to learn and to learn that they will get through it as much as it hurts.



answers from Chicago on

My girls were about the same age when their great-grandma, whom they were very close to passed away. We kept things very simple for them and told them she went to heaven. They both had many questions and we just answered them as best and as simply as we could. There are some great books that deal with loss and are very age appropriate ( I got a couple at borders). We did opt to bring them to the wake/funeral although they did not stay the entire time. We arranged for my mother in law to come pick them up after just about an hour. If you have the ability I would recommend bringing a sitter with you and when you feel it's time for the kids to leave they can. It's been about 1 1/2 yrs and my girls are still asking some simple questions but are coping very well. Death is such a part of life and we felt it was important to allow our girls to experience it on a "simple level". I feel very confident in the decision we made.

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