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After 100 years she goes home...

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Old 06-12-2002, 10:35 AM
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Default After 100 years she goes home...

My wife's grandmother past away yesterday after a good long life. She turned 100 years old back in March. Naturally, the family had a big birthday and Gram had a very good time. She leaves behind her 3 children and 27 grandchildren (three of which are great, great grandchildren). She was a unique woman...god rest her sole. She is in a far better place now.

Here's my difficulty. My wife doesn't want our two girls (7 and 9) to remember their great grandmother the ways she is now, but the way she was back in March. Thus, she doesn't want them to go to the funeral. I run a small boat club here in Atlanta and don't you know it, we have a trip planned this weekend. My wife says, "take the girls with you and do the trip."

I don't want to up set my wife and bring the kids to the funeral but I don't want to be disrespectful to the family. What should I do????????
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Old 06-12-2002, 10:41 AM
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Wow!
That really is a tough one. I don't really know what to say, and I of course don't know anything of your family ralations, but with all due respect I would have to choose to honor my wife's wishes. It's always tough on kids to deal with death, especially at that age when life impressions weigh heavily.

To put myself in her family's shoes, I wouldn't take it disrespectful if you didn't make it, especially for the kids' sake. But this comes from and outsider looking in. I hope this makes some sense.
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Old 06-12-2002, 10:42 AM
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In my opinion, let your girls decide. Since they are 7 and 9, they might be old enough to make those decisions on their own. They may of felt a very strong attatchment to their great grandmother and wish to "see her" once last time. Or they may want to go with you and to remember her the way they saw her in March. Explain to them how see will look and be, and let them decide.

You may be surprised at their decision. Kids can be very smart and perseptive when they want.

Tough call though, good luck and I am very sorry for your family's lost.

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Old 06-12-2002, 10:54 AM
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My grandpa died when I was 9, my mom let me decide what to do. I decided not to go. To this day I regret it and I feel like I disrespected him by not attending.

Even though its a death and its hard to deal with, I think children must learn to accept it and deal with it.

Besides after living 100 years its not a sad occasion, its a celebration of her life.

My .02

Paul
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Old 06-12-2002, 10:57 AM
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I remember when my grandmother died it was the same thing. I was not allowed to the funeral at all. None of the kids were. I recal that some one stayed behind with us. I guess this is kind of the same thing. I am sure that if you show up for the wake and your wife could explain the situation to the family so that you are not looked at funny at future get togethers.

Sorry for your loss

Jon
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Old 06-12-2002, 11:25 AM
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Years ago, houses used to be built with double doors so the casket could fit it and out, because funerals were held in the home. Death was considered a natural part of life, and kids were not "protected" from it.

Personally, I remember my first funeral. I was 5, and Grandmother passed too young. I remember seeing my father cry for the first time, and how others in the family were consoling each other. I was too young to fully understand the loss of Grandmother, but I understood she was gone and not comming back. Being included as a part of the family going through this helps with closure (sp?). That is important weather you are a child or an adult. I saw her in the casket, and got to say goodbye. I saw that others were sad, and that I was not alone with those feelings. It may not have been neccessary to see her in the casket, but I'm glad I got to say goodbye. And I'm glad to have been with the family. A funeral is a celebration of the person's life, but also a way to help the survivers pull together and get through the loss. Make sure the desire to protect kids from funerals is not really the desire to advoid an uncomfortable situation for the parents. I don't have kids myself, but suspect the responsibility of having a child with you at a funeral may interupt the parents' mourning. At visitations I've attended as an adult, it has been a gift from God to see kids playing in the church yard, or a baby in a new mother's arms. Kind of reminds you that we are all part of a cycle, and have our roles to play.

This post rambled a little. Maybe FunHome has insight on this.
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Old 06-12-2002, 11:29 AM
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Chart,

I think your views and thoughts say it all. I was very moved by what you said. Your views put everything in perspective for myself.

thank you,

Eric
 
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Old 06-12-2002, 11:34 AM
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Seadated, sorry to hear of your loss.
I'll bet she was a grand lady.

The first funeral I went to was my Grandmothers.
I guess I was around your daughters age. I remember it frightened me, seeing a person like that, dead.
My Grandmother and I were never close so I didn't really feel the loss.
I think it would be good for them to go. Teach them to remember her as she was along with all the good things and that death is a part of the life cycle.
That's how I handled the passing of my Mom and then three years later my Father.

Last edited by Iggy; 06-12-2002 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 06-12-2002, 11:54 AM
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Wow. Thank you all for your input. I never even thought to ask the kids what they wanted. I need to discuss that with my wife first thing tonight. They may need to say good bye that way.

As for me...I don't care for funerals. I have a tough time in that atmosphere, so personally, I'd rather not go. I didn't attend my great grandmother or step grandfathers. I let my family know why and that was it, but it's different when it's your own family. Several years later my uncle died and I did attend. I have hated that decision ever since. I'm just not sure how my wife's family will accept me not being there. After all, I'll be boating. Seems kind selfish.

Again, thanks for the advice about the kids. I didn't mean to turn this into a dear Abby post. Just needed some direction.
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Old 06-12-2002, 11:59 AM
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Coming from a Funeral Director's point of view, I have seen 7 and 9 year old's at Funeral's where they got something out of being there. Even if they just notice how much everyone cared for the person, or hear and listen to one good story about the person. But then again I have seen 7 and 9 year old's running through the Funeral Home, being loud, disrespectful, not really connecting whith what is going on. I think it has to do with the child and how you parent the child.

It use to be that people would not bring the children into this situation, but more and more people are bringing children even younger than 7, we see babies all the time. I think it is from in today's fast pace world we don't have time for the Family reunions and get together's that we use to, and Funeral's and Wedding's are the only time that the whole family has a chance to get together.

I remember my Grandfather's Visitation and Funeral when I was 8 years old. I still have a silver dollar that one of his friends gave me at the visitation and hold it as a very dear treasure!! The same year I wen't to my GreatGrandmother's Funeral, and I only remember bit's and piece's like the long ride to the little town where she was from and the outside of the Funeral Home.

I think buy being there it helped with my closure for them. Be honest with your kids and try to explain exactly what is going on. For instance never say "They are just sleeping" that will scar them for a long time and may have an effect on their own sleeping. If you have a hard time at this ask the funeral director if they have a book for the children, we have a simple coloring book that we give out that help's the children understand what is going on. I'll be glad to send one to you if you want.

One option might be to take them to the Visitation and not the Funeral? It all depends on your situation.

Sorry this was so long!
But I hope it help's!
Brad Harrington
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