Please excuse me for just hopping right in here. I don't participate in discussion groups much anymore, but I was here when my kids were babies. . . I belonged to a lot of boards back then & don't recall my old username, though.
To get to my question: my sons' stepmother died suddenly a few days ago. She was only in her early 30s. Everyone is shocked, no one expected this. Poor ex DH is devastated. Just talked to him & he said they are considering it a possible suicide.
The boys are 10 & 9, and we share custody, week-on week-off more or less. They don't know the details of how she died (I don't either; ex-DH didn't volunteer any information other than the above). They are with me this week, I am so glad they weren't at their dad's when she passed. But they took a couple days off school to spend with him. I was there as well, for part of that time (the funeral etc.) I have seen them all (ex & the kids) crying together, but mostly they are keeping it up beat. This Friday is switch over day when they go to their dad's.
As I said, ex DH is clearly very sad, and there were a few times the boys were crying with him, but at home with me, they almost seemed as if it hadn't happened. I remember from Psychology class that children are not like adults when grieving the death of someone close. . . I forget how they are different though. I kept expecting them to suddenly break down and start freaking out suddenly, or something. Goodness knows, they have done so over much less important things, like not getting a video game, for example.
I'm not planning to say anything to them about suicide and neither is ex, first of all, they are little kids, secondly we don't know that to be the case It has occurred to me (this is just me, knowing nothing, though) that we might never know if it was or not. But anyway, I don't think they would need to know that.
I wonder if anyone has any ideas how I can expect them to react as they process her death, and the best ways to support them (and ex DH) while they are going through this. So far the kids have not shared it with anyone at school. I did call their teachers when I first found out, & let them know that the boys' step mom had died, because I kind of expected the kids to maybe be acting differently at school, or might need to be consoled. But when they came home today (1st day back) they told me they hadn't mentioned it to anybody, teachers or friends. That surprised me.
Thank you, nice to meet you