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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My bestfreind has a 4 yo boy -- actually 4.5 now as his BDis jan.<br><br>
Her dad is in the later stages of cancer. He will not recover -- the question is how much time can treatment buy him. tHIS IS VERY HARD ON -- oops -- on us all as John is young (63) and has been a very health man up to this time last year. He is currently still doing chemo and a lotof other stuff, but he is losseing weight, adn looks 30 years older. the last CT scan showed the cancer is on all organs and is spreading.<br><br>
I don't expect John to maker it the summer.<br><br>
P is in MI and her family in MO. she just had a new born.<br><br>
SHe was talking ot me yesterday about the difcuttly in talking to the 4 yo -- it is hard to tell him Grandpa is sick cuz we don't want him to freak when he or sis or mom or dad get a cold and "get sick" or when his playmate can't come play as they are "sick" ..... and it is hard fort the 4 yo to grasp Grandpa is always this way and not going to get better....<br><br>
any books?<br><br>
any advice?<br><br>
any thoughts?<br><br>
HELP<br><br>
AImee
 

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Well, I lost my mom to cancer 2 years ago in July. My dd had turned 3 in May. It was pretty quick (5 weeks from diagnosis to death). We had a week of in-home hospice care where she was pretty much out of it. Dd visited. We didn't go into great detail at the time, so that she could just enjoy visiting Grammy.<br>
After she died, we explained it the best we could. (not easy) She was on Grammy's bed and we told her that she had died and that that meant we couldn't visit/see her anymore but that we had pictures and memories. We then said she would always remember her here (tapped head) and here (tapped heart). That stuck...she still says it. Pretty much every day for 6 months I had the "why did Grammy die?" discussion. It was hard at first, but got easier. I never told her to not talk about it. Looking back, it was probably very good for ME to talk it through so much.<br>
After that, it was brought up a few times a week, then not so much. Lately, she's been saying "I really miss Grammy". It's like she can sense that Grammy's b-day is coming up or something.
 

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This is such a hard subject. My 4 year old had to experience a death in the family of someone very close to us .. my paternal grandmother. We were both very close to her and then out of the blue she had a stroke and when we rushed to the hospital, we found her unable to breath on her own, hooked up to all kinds of machines keeping her alive, and with a massive bleed on the brain she would be unable to recover from. My son saw her like that in the hospital and said, "Grandmom has BIG owies" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
We had to make the choice to take her off life support that evening. I explained to my son as honestly as I could (without scaring him) that she was very old, had lived a very long life and that her spirit was ready to go to heaven. He went to the funeral with me and told me "there is no one in grandmom's body, her spirit is in heaven" so I do think he understood for the most part.<br><br>
He hasn't asked many questions, but does tell me he misses Grandmom.<br><br>
I don't know of any books, I just tried to be as open and honest as possible without making him scared of death.
 

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I liked these two books for my 5yr old<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FFall-Freddie-Leaf-20th-Aniversary%2Fdp%2F0805071954%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%2F103-6943794-9571849%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179502889%26sr%3D8-1" target="_blank">The Fall of Freddie the Leaf</a><br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FLifetimes-Bryan-Mellonie%2Fdp%2F0553344021%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_2%2F103-6943794-9571849%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179502945%26sr%3D1-2" target="_blank">Lifetimes</a><br><br>
I am very sorry for your friend. It's a difficult time, but lots of talking with her child will help a lot. I found books a really good way to start doing that.
 

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Probably the easiest simplistic answer to one of your questions is don't say "Grandap is sick" Say "Grandpa has cancer" that will help with the distinction of a cold vs. cancer.<br><br>
I would advise being very open and very honest. Sierra died before Maia was born but she knows all about her and she is part of our daily lives. It is very black and white in her mind. I have a sissy Sierra, sissy Sierra is dead, I can still see Sissy in my heart and in my dreams.
 

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When my grandfather dies dd1 was 3.5, the best advice i got about how to talk about it was don't say it like it is a bad thing. be matter of fact. be honest. i just said poppop died yesterday, and of course a bunch of questions followed, but dying is a part of living. she accepted it and we continue to talk about him and about dying in general. it is a hard subject...
 

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We talk about death frequently in our family, our favorite books are <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FAlways-Forever-Alan-Durant%2Fdp%2F015216636X%2Fref%3Ded_oe_h%2F104-7081115-7785539%3Fie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1179540132%26sr%3D1-2" target="_blank">Always and Forever</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FTenth-Good-Thing-About-Barney%2Fdp%2F0689712030%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%2F104-7081115-7785539%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179540553%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">The Tenth Good Thing About Barney</a><br>
I love these books and wish i had them when I was a child(my father died when I was a nine).<br><br>
Erin
 

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i am sure that is really hard and especially hard on the mom because it's her dad. maybe the child's dad can talk to him about it a little bit, too? i think the advice on not just saying "sick" is good. maybe they could say he's "really sick" or "we don't think he's going to get better". it would be fine to say "cancer", too, but people do recover from cancer so i wouldn't want to plant a fear with that word either. i've never been really in those shoes although my dad is not in good health, but he's stable and has been for several years. we've talked a little bit about how mommy needs to go help grammy and grandaddy sometimes, but not specifically about death of a grandparent. they know that dh's dad died before they were born, though, and they know that our 16 yr old dog won't be with us too much longer.<br><br>
anyway, i was combing my local library's online catalog and came up with these titles. i've linked to amazon's pages about each of them. you might want to give them a look and see if you think any would work for your friend's situation --<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FTwo-Them-Aliki%2Fdp%2F0688073379%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179593662%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">The two of them</a> / written and illustrated by Aliki<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FFall-Freddie-Leaf-20th-Aniversary%2Fdp%2F0805071954%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179593789%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">The fall of Freddie the leaf</a> : a story of life for all ages / Leo Buscaglia<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FBadgers-Parting-Gifts-Susan-Varley%2Fdp%2F0688026990%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_2%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179593831%26sr%3D1-2" target="_blank">Badger's parting gifts</a> / Susan Varley<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FKids-Book-About-Death-Dying%2Fdp%2F0316753904%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179593889%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">The Kids' book about death and dying / by and for kids</a> ; the Unit at Fayerweather Street School ; edited and coordinated by Eric E. Rofes<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FIll-Always-Love-Hans-Wilhelm%2Fdp%2F0517572656%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_2%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179593926%26sr%3D1-2" target="_blank">I'll always love you</a> / by Hans Wilhelm (about a dog)<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FGrandpas-Slide-Show-Deborah-Gould%2Fdp%2F068806972X%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179593965%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">Grandpa's slide show</a> / Deborah Gould ; illustrated by Cheryl Harness<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FEleanor-Arthur-Claire-Diana-Engel%2Fdp%2F0027334627%2Fref%3Dsr_1_2%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179594024%26sr%3D1-2" target="_blank">Eleanor, Arthur, and Claire</a> / written and illustrated by Diana Engel<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FAdas-Pal-George-Ella-Lyon%2Fdp%2F0531095282%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179594106%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">Ada's pal</a> / story by George Ella Lyon ; pictures by Marguerite Casparian (about a dog)<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FWhen-Dinosaurs-Die-Understanding-Families%2Fdp%2F0316119555%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179594146%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">When dinosaurs die : a guide to understanding death</a> / Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FWhere-Grandpa-T-Barron%2Fdp%2F0698119045%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179594255%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">Where is Grandpa?</a> / T.A. Barron ; illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FGrandads-Prayers-Earth-Douglas-Wood%2Fdp%2F076360660X%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_2%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179594336%26sr%3D1-2" target="_blank">Grandad's prayers of the earth</a> / Douglas Wood ; illustrated by P.J. Lynch<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FGrandad-Tree-Trish-Cooke%2Fdp%2F0744578752%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179594413%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">The grandad tree</a> / Trish Cooke ; illustrated by Sharon Wilson<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FThank-You-Grandpa-Lynn-Plourde%2Fdp%2F0525469923%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179594475%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">Thank you, grandpa</a> / by Lynn Plourde ; illustrated by Jason Cockcroft<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FWhere-People-General-Jewish-Interest%2Fdp%2F158013081X%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179594550%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">Where do people go when they die?</a> / Mindy Avra Portnoy ; illustrations by Shelly O. Haas<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FAlways-Forever-Alan-Durant%2Fdp%2F0552548774%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_2%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179594619%26sr%3D1-2" target="_blank">Always and forever</a> / written by Alan Durant ; illustrated by Debi Gliori<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FKaddish-Grandpa-Booklist-Editors-Choice%2Fdp%2F0689801858%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179594659%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">Kaddish for Grandpa in Jesus' name, amen</a> / James Howe ; [illustrated by] Catherine Stock<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FFound-Dead-Bird-Guide-Cycle%2Fdp%2F1897066716%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179594767%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">I found a dead bird : the kids' guide to the cycle of life & death</a> / Jan Thornhill<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FWhat-Comes-After-Thousand%2Fdp%2F1933605278%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%2F102-2269260-7805718%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1179594808%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">And what comes after a thousand?</a> / Anette Bley<br><br><br>
i have read "And What Comes After A Thousand", "Always and Forever", and "Eleanor, Aurthur and Claire" and liked all of them. i tried to find mainly stories about grandads because i would be wary of introducing the idea of grandma or a parent dying at this time. my kids are uber-sensitive, though, so much so that i haven't actually read the books i mentioned above with my kids -- just by myself!<br><br>
hth<br><br>
p.s. oh, finally, you might as your children's librarian. they're great resources for stuff like this. i'm sure you're a great support to your friend. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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My grandfather is dying and my 4 y/o and I have talked about it recently. He knew that great-grandpa was sick and he told me that he hopes he feels better soon. I told him that great-grandpa's body is very, very sick, and that I don't think he will be able to get better, that his body is dying. "And then, no more great-grandpa?" he asked. No, he will be dead, we won't see him any more. I told him that we will still be able to remember him, and talk about him, and look at pictures of him, and that some of the things he did are a part of who we are (family traditions). I talked about some of the things our family does and how great-grandpa did those things when grandpa was a little boy, and grandpa did those things when I was a little girl, and now I do those things and can teach them to him, and that's one way that we can remember great-grandpa, by doing the things he did, eating the traditional family foods he enjoyed, telling stories about him, and singing the songs he sang to us.<br><br><br>
Edited to add that really, he seems to be taking this more in stride than I am. Discussing it with him, actually saying "great-grandpa is dying" to him, has helped ME to accept this. Sometimes kids can teach us as much about death as we teach them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yes i admit part of the challange in this whole sitationa -- for my freind, and for ME, is to see our PARENTS in a new light....it is one thing for us to be adults, it is one thing for us to be married, or to have kids, and so on ... but this is a new page we did not expect to face this soon and it is a bit unsettleing for US without the kids to expalin it to. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
thanks for all the great book suggestions<br><br>
A
 

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my 4 y.o. ds has become fascinated with death recently, not sure why as we haven't had a death in the family (knock on wood-- trying not to panic about this!). the book I ordered is called What Is Death? by Etan Boritzer. I haven't gotten it yet, so I don't know if it will live up to its description, we'll see.
 

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my dd died (full term still birth) right after my other dd turned 3...it has been very very hard to process it...esp b/c my dd kind of waited for me to puul myself together to really shoe her deep pain and her version of greif is hard to take...3's adn 4's can be ticking time bombs of irrational behavior and screaming hysteria ANYWAY...and grief looks like that a lot for my dd....<br><br>
we pray alot and my dd talks to her sister and sings songs to her befor ebed everynight...it is a little more scary for her b/c our baby wasn't really really old...like the way we would all like it to be when you die, however she also never saw her... so it is different than some one who she ahs seens and touched...Rain was always just a concept to her...but she does know what babies are and she si very sad about the loss.<br><br>
be gentle and take time to listen to them...i have also read to let the child view the body and attend the funneral so that it is real to them, that was not how we did it...but each situation is different.<br><br>
teaching a child about death really makes you examine your own ideas about death, dying, and god...<br><br>
for us it has been an opportunity for major spiritual growth....
 

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