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Young children and mom's passing
I'm not even sure if this is the right place to post, but wanted some guidance from other parents. My ex-wife passed away last week suddenly and we have had 50/50 custody of our 5 year old son and 4 year old daughter. I also have a 12 year old son from a previous marriage. She was like a mom to him and they were pretty close, he was 7 when we married. I spoke for quite a while with a Children's Grieving center the day I learned about it and informed the children with a close family friend that their mother had passed away, per their recommendation not to wait. It was very hard and I realize they're very young and it's kind of off and on for them what happened to mommy. My oldest is pretty strong with it, he's sad, but doesn't really show it. Mom's funeral is this Sunday and I was told that the children need to attend to gain some closure of sorts to what happened to mommy. I understand that and I understand the need for them to have some finality to her death and what's truly happened. I am only concerned about the effects it might have on them to see her. I've been slowly explaining how when people get sick, sometimes their bodies stop working, etc and what a funeral is and its ok to cry, some people mourn (cry) and some people remember the person in life and may laugh remembering, etc. so that they have an idea of what they will experience. I'm just concerned about our children and even though we were divorced, in recent months we became close friends and resolved all of our petty differences and spent time together with the children often. Although she was responsible for her passing, she was always a good mother to them, very loving. I haven't begun dealing with this myself, my concern is only for my children right now and their well-being. Anyone with advice, please let me know how to proceed with their attending her funeral.
In a situation like this it's very important to have a honest and open relationship with your kids. They probably have many questions, and I'm sure it's probably extreamly confusing for them. It's hard for anyone to understand how things can change so quickly, let alone cope with it... I also think it's good for them to go to the furneral, even if it's hard for them, they need closure. They need to realize and accept that she is gone before they can really begin to heal from this. Also, make it very clear that you're there for them. Weather it be a shoulder to cry on, or someone to just share memories of her with. You could even just look at old pictures of her with them, or tell stories of her, just let them know that even though shee's gone they still have a part of her with them. Don't forget that you're grieving too, you may not realize it, but at one point you loved this person and a part of that will always be with you. If you feel like you or the kids need to talk to someone, go to a therapist, they can be very helpful in situations like this. I am very sorry for not only you but your kids loss, I really hope things start to look up for you. Good luck with everything! :)
I am very sorry for your loss, and cannot imagine what you and your children must be going through right now.I definitely agree that you should see a therapist, both by yourself and as a family. This is a complicated thing to deal with for anyone, but it's especially difficult when there are young children involved. A trained professional can help you all figure out your emotions, and will absolutely be the best person to help you figure out how to get your kids through this difficult time. There's no shame in seeking this kind of outside help. For most of us, this is something that is a little beyond our area of expertise.