Fourtitude.com - Kindergartener to attend a funeral/memorial?
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    1. Member A1an's Avatar
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      01-02-2017 09:47 PM #1
      My grandmother passed away rather suddenly and unexpectedly last Friday and a memorial has been planned for this Saturday at the adult/retirement community where she resided. I'm completely lost on how to address this with our six year old daughter. My daughter had just interacted with her not even a week prior at Christmas.

      Part of me thinks she should be there to honor my grandmother's life, but the other part of me thinks it may not be appropriate for an individual who doesn't understand death and the proper protocol for these services. She is a good kid and we can obviously go over how she needs to act but, like any kindergartner, it is hard to get her to sit still for any long period of time during serious subject matter.

      My mind isn't really all that right either at this point. At Christmas she was doing great and was her usual self, then not even a week later I'm there watching her take her last breath in the ICU. Can't quite wrap my head on how to explain that to a six-year-old, if she needs to be involved in anything greater than just an explanation of why her great grandmother won't be around any longer, etc.

      Any input, insight, advise, past experiences, etc would be greatly appreciated.
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    3. Millennial Pizza Cat's Avatar
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      01-02-2017 09:49 PM #2
      I went to my first funeral at age seven. It was for a family member that I had interacted with quite a bit (great grandmother)

      That's all I really can add.
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    4. Member saron81's Avatar
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      01-03-2017 10:11 AM #3
      My daughters were 5 and 6 when my Dad (who lived with us) passed. Sitting down to tell them was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. They had pretty much spent every day of their lives with him there. It too was very sudden and unexpected. He took my younger daughter to school one day, came home and said he wasn't feeling well... got sick a few times that evening, and we found him passed away in his bed the next morning. Completely out of the blue. It was the first time that they'd ever experienced death, but they understood. Even better than I thought they would. We explained that Granddad got sick, and would no longer be with us, but he was in Heaven, and would always be with us if we remember him. They cried. I cried. When we had the service, they both went. We had him cremated so there was just an urn, but they understood what was going on. Looking at them in the first row when I was reading the eulogy was hard, but I'm glad they went. They were a part of his life, as well as him being a part of theirs so I felt it was important. They deserved a chance to say goodbye. Friends and family will understand that she's a little kid, and you can remove her from the situation if it needs to be done. She might even put a smile on someone's face during a very difficult time for them. Kids are good at that. I could understand not wanting to expose her to a lot of it though, so this may not be the right answer for you, but I hope it helps.

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    6. Member
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      01-05-2017 12:04 PM #4
      Hard to say because it is so individualistic with each family and children depending on how you have interacted with them. We have always made our kids aware of life and death to the point that they understand the finality of it, even if it doesn't register the whys and hows. That being said, we would have a discussion about what happened (just had to do this with a nephew that passed last month) and leave it at that. I don't think we would bring our kindergarten age daughter to the funeral though. As we all know, funerals can be pretty heavy and depending on your religion if there is on, pretty depressing. That is a lot for a young mind to absorb and they cannot process it in the way that a more mature mind can- hell, many adults can't.

    7. Member sortadelux's Avatar
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      01-08-2017 01:06 PM #5
      FWIW, this last summer we took our 6yo to her Great Grandmothers service. She was very close, closer than I was to GG and we wanted to help her feel like she could participate as a part of the grieving process. GG lived next door to us for my 6yo's whole life, so it was important to have her there at the end.
      "Never attribute to maliciousness that which can be attributed to stupidity."

    8. Member XClayX's Avatar
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      02-14-2017 09:20 AM #6
      My grandmother died last Thursday. This Thursday is the funeral, my nephew will be attending he's just over 2. Not sure how it will go but we'll see. I'm pretty sure its before he really understand what is happening.

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