My husband commited suicide today, leaves two beautiful girls, how to tell a 3 yo. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello everyone,

I just wanted to say a heartfelt "Thank You" for all the supportive and caring notes. It really does feel as though I have a wonderful crowd of gals holding me up - I cannot express how powerful that is.

We are planning a service for Saturday and I think it will be lovely. I have a appointment with a therapist on Thursday and looking into play therapy for Francesca (3yr old).

All the information has been amazing and comforting to know that everything I am feeling and how Francesca's actions are normal.

Thanks again gals!

Erin, Francesca (3yr) & Veritas (9mo)
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Francesca 1/29/03 (Our little chestnut)

How do I tell my 3 1/2 year old her father is dead? She is hanging on me right now and the little one is crying - so this will be short. But I am looking for any advice. I live in a small town and cannot get to a bookstore but I dont want to screw this up.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Thank you.
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#2 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 10:43 PM
 
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OMG! I have no advice, but I am so very sorry for your family's loss...how very tragic for all of you.

Everything I've read says to stay away from saying that the deceased are "sleeping" or were "sick" or had "gone away". The sleep and sick things can induce sleeping or sick phobias.

OMG mama...I'm so sorry.

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#3 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 10:44 PM
 
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Oh no, I am so sorry. That is so awful. Thinking of you and your baby girl tonight.
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#4 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 10:47 PM
 
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Oh I am so so so sorry!
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#5 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 10:49 PM
 
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no advice here either, I will be thinking of you and your family!
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#6 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 10:53 PM
 
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could you get something (or have someone) get something from the library? what about amazon? they ship quickly.

i don't think there is the need to rush through this. its alot for adult to comprehend let along a small child. i guess the time thing would only apply if you were planning on taking her to the funeral.

gosh i am so very, very sorry. i wish you strength and healing.
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#7 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 10:54 PM
 
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I'm so sorry. No advice here, but I could not read and not reply.
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#8 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 10:55 PM
 
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Mama,
I am so sorry. I don't know the details or how much she already knows but I would say to be honest with as few details as possible. If she needs more info she will ask questions but this is so fresh and new give yourself a little time to think about what you want her to know right now. I am so sorry. Do you have support nearby? Someone who can help you cope while you are going through such a tragic loss? Much love to you
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#9 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 10:58 PM
 
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Here is something I found

Explaining Death to a Child
When talking about death with a child, parents should explain that death means that life stops, the deceased cannot return, and the body is buried. They should also explain their religious beliefs concerning these matters. Anything less simple and explicit often causes confusion and misinterpretation. Covering death over with fiction or half-truths may increase children's fears in the future and lead to mistrust of family members. However, children's fears may be lessened when the death discussion is focused not on morbid details but on the beauty of life.

Possible Reactions of Children to Death
The death of a parent is a traumatic loss in a child's life. Different children cope in different ways. Possible reactions and children's statements that may or may not appear include:


Denial --"I don't believe it."


Bodily distress --"I can't breathe;" "I can't sleep."


Hostile reactions to the deceased --"Didn't he care enough for me to stay alive?"


Guilt --"She got sick because I was naughty. I killed her!"


Hostile reactions to others --"It is the doctor's fault. He didn't treat him right."


Replacement --"Uncle Ben, do you love me, really love me?"


Assumption of mannerisms of deceased --"Do I look like Mommy?"


Idealization --"How dare you say anything against Daddy! He was perfect."


Anxiety --"I feel like Mommy when she died. I have a pain in my chest."


Panic --"Who will take care of me now?" (Grollman, 1967, pp. 18-20).

If parents are concerned about how their children are reacting, they should consult a pediatrician or professional counselor.
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#10 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 10:59 PM
 
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I am so, so sorry for your loss.

I also found http://www.camh.net/About_Addiction_...t_suicide.html

Questions kids have
Why?
“Why?”, plain and simple, is the most common question when someone dies by suicide. Unfortunately, it’s also the hardest question to answer. The only person who really knew why was the person who died.

There is no single answer that helps children understand why a parent would kill himself or herself. Even when the parent leaves a note, suicide is often very hard to understand.

Try to keep your answers short and simple. Use words that match the child’s age and development. For example, a six- to eight-year-old child will understand things differently from a nineto 11-year-old.

Don’t give the child more information than he or she wants. The child will likely want to know more as time goes on.
When people kill themselves, they are not happy or healthy. They are very unhappy. It’s not the same kind of sadness that kids might feel when they can’t watch their favourite TV show or eat their favourite chocolate bar. It’s a kind of sadness that goes on for a long time and makes people really unhappy.

The parent was in a lot of emotional pain. When people choose to end their life, it is because in their mind, living was just too hard. They didn’t know how to get help or didn’t choose to get help. They felt very sad and they made the wrong decision.

I have no experience, but you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers

Shelley, mother, wife, sister, aunt, friend.
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#11 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:00 PM
 
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#12 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:01 PM
 
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I am so sorry this happened I can't even begin to imagine what you are going thru mama. I have no idea what is best to tell your dd in this horrible situation. I guess it depends on how much she knows about death and what happened today. I think it's so important for both of you to grieve his loss but I think it would be overwhelming to say the least to try to deal with this yourself and comfort your hurting child at the same time. I really hope you have family and friends close by who can help you thru this. I think support of those are closest to will keep you going. You will be in my thoughts and prayers

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
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#13 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:01 PM
 
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I am so sorry mama. That's a terrible tragedy. I would agree that you should be honest with her, tell her that daddy has gone to heaven (or whatever you believe) and that he won't be around anymore, but that he will be with you in your hearts always (or something like that). I wouldn't give her anymore information than she asks for. Though I know my 3 yr old asks why after every answer I give her. I'm so very sorry.

Alisha, Army wife to Nathan , Homeschooling mama to Scheeli (May 2003) , Bronwynn (Nov. 2004) :, Piper (Nov. 2007) , and Wesley (January 2010)
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#14 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:01 PM
 
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goodcents you're link doesn't work for me
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#15 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:05 PM
 
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I am so sorry.
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#16 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:06 PM
 
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which one urban?
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#17 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:09 PM
 
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I'm so sorry for your loss.

Homeschooling mom to four kids, ages 18, 18, 10, and 6. 

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#18 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodcents
which one urban?
you fixed them
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#19 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:14 PM
 
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No words of advice, just hugs and our sympathy. s
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#20 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:17 PM
 
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chesnut i sent you a pm.

i notice you don't have so many posts so you may not know about this feature. if you look up in the upper right hand corner of your screen you will see a link that says private messages.
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#21 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:18 PM
 
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omg, I am so sorry, I can't imagine everything you're going through and about to go through, but I have to say I am so impressed by the fact that you are still thinking about your children before yourself, it shows you are a strong loving mama and you are going to pull them through this.

I found this,

http://www.intheknowzone.com/teen_su..._children.html

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#22 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:21 PM
 
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I'm so sorry.... :

Jennifer
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#23 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This community is amazing.

Thank you so much for all your words. It really does help. It's strange how words from a stranger can be so healing. I feel a strong sense of support - which I need right now.

Thank you all.

Love,
Erin, Francesca 3yr & Veritas 9months
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#24 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:26 PM
 
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Oh Mama, I'm so so sorry
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#25 of 118 Old 09-08-2006, 11:33 PM
 
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i'm so sorry mama!!!

Mama to 14yo, 9yo, 7yo, and babe born 9/2012
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#26 of 118 Old 09-09-2006, 12:10 AM
 
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I am so sorry mama.

This is a tree on fire with love, but it's still scary since most people think love only looks like one thing instead of the whole world. *
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#27 of 118 Old 09-09-2006, 12:11 AM
 
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My sister was 3 when our g-pa died. My parents told her he was sleeping. That she couldn't see him b/c he was sleeping. She accepted this for a while but got to the point where 'well he can't always be sleeping' finally they told her that he had died. He had gotten sick and died. She understood then that she couldn't see him anymore and that he wasn't just sleeping. She also was then able to grieve in her own way his death whereas before she thought 'oh well I can see him next time I come over and he is up from his nap'.

My great g-pa died a year ago. Trying to explain this to my dd while dealing with my own grief at his rather sudden death was very difficult. What I told her was that Granpa went to see God. That he lived with God now and that we couldn't see him anymore. We talked about how his body went in the ground but that he went to live with God. She was 4 at the time and seemed to understand all of this fairly well. She was angry at first b/c he left us, they enjoyed watching cartoons together and would tell us that he would come to visit her while she watched cartoons. I fully believe that he did.

Anyway I don't know if any of this may help in explaining what happened to your kids but I hope you find some way to help them understand what is going on in this very difficult time for all of you.
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#28 of 118 Old 09-09-2006, 12:27 AM
 
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I'm so sorry for your loss, and I don't really have any advice to give you except that my dd lost a dear friend through suicide this past summer and I know from that experience how hard it is to lose a loved one that way. It must be so incredibly hard on you right now. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
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#29 of 118 Old 09-09-2006, 12:41 AM
 
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My daughter is three and a half and asked me what happens when we die. I told her our bodies go back to nature and our spirits go back to God - where we came from. She asked if I would die and I said yes, we all die. Our bodies don't keep working forever. Sometimes bodies stop working (although I hoped and expected mine would work for a very long time). Anyway, she seemed to grasp the idea that bodies stop working and go back to nature but the spirit goes on. I think you could even explain that you were sad b/c Daddy had to go back to God. Surely the three year old knows you are upset.

Like everyone else, my heart goes out to you. I can't imagine your own pain and I hold you in prayer and applaud you for thinking of your child through this horrible time.
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#30 of 118 Old 09-09-2006, 12:42 AM
 
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I am so, so sorry...

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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