preparing a child for grandmothers death - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-17-2011, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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My MIL has had two strokes in the last two weeks and most likely won't live out the weekend, and is unable to communicate.  11yo dd was with us when I found mil collapsed after the first stroke but hasn't wanted to go to the hospital, and hasn't seen her since the collapse.  She knew when mil was at the first hospital that children weren't allowed, but she would be allowed now.  She understands her grandmothers condition, and is reluctant to see her.


I understand that it is hard to see her in this drastically reduced condition, but I think she will regret it the rest of her life if she doesn't have some sort of closure.  It is hard for me to push her, but I really don't want to set her up for regrets.

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#2 of 7 Old 02-18-2011, 09:40 AM
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I don't feel particularly qualified to comment, but since no-one has commented, I figured I'd bump this up for you. I'm sorry to hear of your impending loss.

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#3 of 7 Old 02-18-2011, 10:15 AM
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Funeral homes have booklets about speaking to your child about death of a loved one -maybe they would help.She is probably afraid.The hospital may have someone who does grief counseling to help.I am sorry all of you are in this situation.

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#4 of 7 Old 02-18-2011, 03:44 PM
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I believe your child can make her own decision on whether to see her grandmother in the hospital. It might be better for her to remember her grandmother as a healthy, vibrant engaged person rather than how she is now. Your daughter knows what she can handle and maybe it would be better for her in the long run if you supported and respected her feelings as to whether or not she should see her.

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#5 of 7 Old 02-18-2011, 07:41 PM
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My grandfather, who I was VERY close to, was diagnosed with cancer when I was 13.  He was immediately admitted in the hospital and never came home.  He quickly deteriorated and after two weeks he died.  While I did visit him in the hospital, something I wanted to do and don't regret, I didn't want to go to the funeral.  My parents were advised to make me go so I could get closure (i think) and so I wouldn't regret it.  It was awful for me and I hated seeing my grandfather that way.  I would not have regretted not going and at 17 years later I still wish I hadn't gone.  I vote to let your daughter decide but to talk to her about your concerns with her not going.


I'm sorry to hear about your MIL OP.


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#6 of 7 Old 02-19-2011, 06:17 PM
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Elisabeth Kubler-Ross writes a lot about kids and death, and kids' perspective of death/loss of a loved one.  if it was my kid, i would also really want her to go, to be able to say goodbye.  but - i would also feel really uncomfortable forcing her to do it.  would it be possible for your dd to write a letter to your MIL and you read it to her at the hospital?  it just an idea - but maybe it would offer her some closure and still allow her to stay away from the situation.

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#7 of 7 Old 02-28-2011, 08:40 PM
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I hope you are surrounded by support during this difficult journey your family is making.


I lost my mom over 5 yrs ago due to cancer, and our eldest was only 3.5 yrs old at the time.


I found the hospital chaplain and social workers to be a good source of information and advice. They handed me books to read and colouring books for the youngster with age-appropriate Q&A.


I don't know what else to say, only that your daughter knows she always has someone to talk to about whatever feelings she may be experiencing over the coming days and months.


Take care and be gentle with yourself.

Sign hanging in Albert Einstein's office at Princeton: Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts.
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