8-week old at a funeral?? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Is it okay to take an 8 week old to a funeral?
Yes 137 86.71%
No 19 12.03%
Other... explain away! 2 1.27%
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My co-worker's husband just died unexpectedly. He'd had some health issues that had been pretty serious, but this was still a big surprise.

I'm off on maternity leave right now. I'm not particularly close to her, but would like to be supportive during this awful time.

Is it inappropriate to take my NB to the funeral? I haven't left her yet...

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Old 07-13-2010, 01:22 AM
 
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I'm sorry, but I think that would be very inappropriate.

I didn't even bring my 3yo to my father's funeral.

Your co-worker will understand your absence and likely won't even notice. Send some flowers or a food basket with your condolences, and stay home and enjoy your baby.

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Old 07-13-2010, 01:28 AM
 
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I don't think it's inappropriate at all. I would just sit towards the back, and leave immediately if she starts to cry. I seriously doubt it would bother anyone, and I'm sure your coworker would appreciate your support.

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Old 07-13-2010, 01:35 AM
 
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I don't think there's anything inappropriate about a newborn at a funeral.

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Old 07-13-2010, 01:37 AM
 
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It is not inappropriate at all.

Do you have a sling or a pouch that she can be in? She will be much calmer that close to you.

I used to have a black Maya Wrap pouch and I wore it with a black t-shirt and no one could really tell that I had a baby in there until a hand popped out.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:38 AM
 
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I think it would be fine, although I might try to go to the visitation/viewing instead of the funeral service if that's an option. You can say hello, give your condolences, and leave as quickly as need be. If you do the service, I would stay near the door to duck out if needed. But 8 week olds are generally fairly quiet in my experience, and she's young enough not to be disturbed by the funeral as well.

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Old 07-13-2010, 01:39 AM
 
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It is not inappropriate at all to bring a child or a newborn to a funeral.

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Old 07-13-2010, 01:39 AM
 
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Sit at the back and leave if there's crying. From experience, a newborn will be a million times easier than an older child and will likely not even be noticed by most people. And if they do notice your LO, they will feel a bit happier in a sad time.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:46 AM
 
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It is not inappropriate at all to bring a child or a newborn to a funeral.
I agree. I'd use a sling, and sit by the door in case baby started fussing. At 8 weeks, all four of my babies were pretty chill and content so I would have been able to nurse discretely and they wouldn't have made a peep during the service.

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Old 07-13-2010, 01:50 AM
 
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I would have been very offended if someone had brought a baby to my father's funeral. For one, it would have been a painful reminder that my father would never meet my future babies. For two, it would have been a distraction when my immediate family needed the sadness and grief of the funeral. We had the wake and other gatherings to celebrate my father's life, but the funeral itself was a very needed grieving outlet.

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Old 07-13-2010, 01:56 AM
 
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I don't think there's anything inappropriate about bringing a child or newborn to a funeral. Definitely be prepared to leave at the first sign of crying.

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Old 07-13-2010, 01:58 AM
 
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I don't think there's anything inappropriate about bringing a child or newborn to a funeral. Definitely be prepared to leave at the first sign of crying.

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Old 07-13-2010, 02:31 AM
 
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Small children at funerals are comforting. They remind us of the continuity of life, of it's circular nature.

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Old 07-13-2010, 02:34 AM
 
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There was a teeny baby at my great grandmother's funeral. My 3rd cousin's baby, so not a terribly close relation. Everyone loved having her there. She and her Mum spent a lot of time outside of the actual funeral, but we enjoyed visiting with them.

I personally don't think it's inappropriate to take children to a funeral - I had both of mine (at the time) at my Grandfather's funeral. We spent most of it in the 'cry room', so I missed pieces of the funeral that I would have liked to have been a part of, but I don't regret having taken them.
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eepster View Post
Small children at funerals are comforting. They remind us of the continuity of life, of it's circular nature.
I was very grateful to have my 3 year old cousin at my father's funeral. She sat on my lap and was very comforting to me.
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:13 AM
 
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I brought my six-week-old to a funeral. It never occurred to me that anyone would find it offensive, and as far as I could tell, no-one did. I was poised to nurse her at the first sign of hunger, so she didn't end up crying, even though I did.

If, say, DH died and someone brought a baby to his funeral, I suspect I would either a) not notice, because I'd be more concerned about having just host my husband, or b) be vaguely pleased by the distraction/evidence that Life Goes On/person for people to coo over instead of trying to say sympathetic things to me. I can't imagine finding it offensive at all - in my mind, newborns go with their mother. Protracted screaming aside, of course...

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Old 07-13-2010, 05:51 AM
 
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I brought my six-week-old to a funeral. It never occurred to me that anyone would find it offensive
My baby was only 2 weeks old but, what she said. I had her in a sling, she slept the whole time. When she started to grizzle when we were standing around talking to people afterwards DH and I took her back to the car and I fed her.

She wasn't the only baby there either.

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Old 07-13-2010, 07:07 AM
 
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My son went to his Grandfather's funeral when he was a couple of days old. There was nothing inappropriate about it at all, everyone said it was great that I took him - it gave my family comfort at a difficult time.
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:40 AM
 
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I think it's fine to bring a newborn or children to a funeral. If they begin to cry, then I would immediately leave the area until they are settled down.

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Old 07-13-2010, 09:55 AM
 
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does the coworker have children? that would be the decider to me.
if she has older children and an obviously complete family, i would bring the baby.
if she has very young children, no children, or wanted children and couldn't have them, i would not go.

imagine if your dp died, and you wanted (more) children, and at his funeral, someone brings their sweet gorgeous brand-new baby, just what you wanted and couldn't have. that would be totally heartbreaking.
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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I wouldn't have the slightest issue with a baby at a funeral. Or an older child. I don't think I would bring my 2yo unless it was someone very close, because she's very aware and sensitive, and I think it would needlessly disturb HER, but I would be fine bringing a newborn! I'd prefer a wake, and I'd step out if the baby got fussy/distracting, of course, but I can't imagine being offended.

There were a few babies/young children at my grandparents' funerals. I didn't think twice about it. I think one young child got upset at one point and her dad took her out, but no one found it unusual.

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Old 07-13-2010, 10:35 AM
 
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I would, with a couple of exceptions. If I knew, for instance, that the deceased or his wife really disliked kids, I would not take her. Especially if the wife disliked kids. But assuming they like kids, I would take her and assume that probably she wouldn't notice, and might even enjoy it.

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Old 07-13-2010, 10:45 AM
 
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My daughter was about that age when my fil died. I had to sit with the family but I had my mother hold her in the very back and she was okay. She just stepped out with her when she got a bit fussy.

Honestly, I really doubt that the husband is going to notice. I really was not paying that much attention to the other guests and I know my mil certainly was not.
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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I think that babies at a funeral are not only appropriate, but can be a real comfort. That whole "Circle of Life" thing, ya know.

There are exceptions, of course. But generally, I think babies at a funeral are really really nice.

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Old 07-13-2010, 11:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eepster View Post
Small children at funerals are comforting. They remind us of the continuity of life, of it's circular nature.
That's exactly how my thinking goes.

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Old 07-13-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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We took our 3 week old to my grandmother-in-law's funeral. I think it is always appropriate to bring a baby to your family's funeral.

I also took her at 4 months to my coworker's funeral. The only time anyone even mentioned DD was after the services as we were leaving. Everyone who did talk about the baby being there did so favorably. Like many previous posters have said, there is the whole cycle of life that brings comfort to people.
I did ask in advance if it would be ok to bring her. I really wanted her to meet the man who helped her mommy so much when we had no heat hot water or electricity when I was pregnant. However if his family had said no I would not have brought her.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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In my circle as well in the church I was raised in children, even infants would be welcome at a funeral. Funerals are treated just like regular church services - everyone participates to the best of their ability.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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I had to take my 4-month-old to my friend's father's funeral. It was sudden, but not a surprise, as he had been sick for a while. I would not have been able to go if I didn't bring him -- but I did clear it with them first, and they seemed glad to have him there.

He became fussy just after the service started, but I was sitting near the back and just slipped out to the lobby where there was a couch and space to walk around.

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Old 07-13-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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I second the "just going to the visitation" part that a PP mentioned, if that's a possibility. Then again, I get pretty stressed out trying to deal with babies in "gotta be quiet" scenarios, so it might just be a personal preference. Not that there's anything wrong, *I* don't think, with a baby at a funeral (especially a tiny snoozing newborn), but visitations are so much more baby-friendly, and I've found that when I know the grieving person, but not really the deceased, the visitation is a much more meaningful way to express condolences.

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Old 07-13-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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The only time I think it would be inappropriate would be if it was a child that had passed. Since it's an adult, I don't think it would be a problem. I would do as pp have suggested and sit near the back and leave if the baby begins to fuss.

Elizabeth wife to Matt , mom to Logan (2/21/01) , and little man Desmond (9/23/08)

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