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Children at Funerals?

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posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 09:14 AM
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I am a single full time Dad of a wonderful 4 yr old boy. My best friends funeral is tomorrow and I am one of the pall bearers. My son knew him well and I still haven't told him. Of course I have to act on this SOON and tell him. BUT, I didn't want to "go there" until I figured out exactly the best way to handle this. His grandmother offered for him to stay with her at home but I think perhaps he should go (as much as this whole thing sucks- got to be real as "with life comes death"). SO, if she goes with us to watch him, knowing my son, he's not going to want to stay with her...he's going to possibly want to "help Daddy take care of our Rodney (my best friend since 9 yrs old, now I'm 43, he had just turned 44 and suddenly became ill and passed btw). My friend was very good to my son, giving him things when we'd visit, taking him for rides on his tractor. This whole thing has me wrecked so it's been difficult to decide exactly how to do right by my boy. I don't want him to feel left out. Some may think talk to him but leave him home and visit the grave site later. I'm more inclined for him to go although i am concerned about him being sensitive to our grief though. SO, in trying to sort out what's best for my son's understanding and future reaction to death, I'd like some incite from others...thank you




posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 09:20 AM
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a reply to: Aboom

not an easy subject for older kids, never mind a 4 year old... I'd tell him, but I wouldn't take him to the funeral, you have your own grief to deal with and your little one won't understand at his age.. personally i think 4 is too young for a funeral... then again i think 10 is too young for a funeral too...either way, sorry about your friend



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 09:26 AM
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a reply to: Aboom

Well, my condoleances to begin with.

From personal experience, the best thing may be for your son to stay with Grandma.

Particularly since you are a single dad, you do not want to risk your 4 year old son developing attachment disorders, e.g.anxiety,"will my Dad also die", etc.

There are no right answers

Best



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 09:31 AM
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I'm a funeral director with over 33 yrs experience and I was taught that you should give the child the choice. Explain what has happened, tell him about the funeral and explain it's significance and let him decide. Be prepared to answer many questions truthfully if the child decides to attend. Good luck to you and sorry for your loss.



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 10:05 AM
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I'm so sorry about your friend.

I never had children so I hesitate to give any advice on child rearing.

But I do think 4 is too young to take to a funeral, it seems like it would be a very overwhelming experience for a 4 years old.
You are going through enough grief right now without taking that on too.



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 10:13 AM
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a reply to: Aboom

Take him. It begins somewhere for each of us. My parents worried about me as a 5 year old going to my grandmother's funeral.

I went up to the casket after being told "Grandma went to Heaven to be with God. She was very sick". I got it...and understood it better as I got older.



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 10:21 AM
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a reply to: Aboom

I wouldn't , if the funeral was for a relative then yes but not for a friend.



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 12:06 PM
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My son went to my mother's funeral and wake when he was three. He didn't understand it of course but he was a sweet distraction for family members who were grieving.
It's your call.



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 12:08 PM
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a reply to: gortex

From what he says this man was like family. They've been friends for over thirty years. That is family.



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 12:15 PM
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a reply to: mysterioustranger

At six I was forbidden to go to my grandmother's funeral or wake. As a child I lacked proper closure and felt it keenly. The last memory of my grandmother was her sweeping the kitchen floor as I left the house to go to school. When I came home at three she was gone. That's it just gone. No goodbyes no prayers in a formal sense. I certainly prayed for her soul like any good Catholic girl would. (She was Baptist so...) but there was something lacking in the whole process for me.
edit on 742015 by AutumnWitch657 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: Hidinout

Mostly funerals are about supporting the survivors and remembering the departed. There are laughs and good memories to share. Not just tears though they can be cathartic too.
When I lost my mother I was happy to have the little ones around and my siblings of course.



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 12:44 PM
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We didn't take our son to his great-grandfather's funeral. It's still hard to understand fully what dead really means at that age, and the quiet respect needed at a funeral, especially where everyone else is going to be getting distraught, including mommy and possibly daddy, is, we felt, more than he should be expected to field at his age. So, my husband who married in to the family kept our son back while the rest of the family went to the service.

It was enough we felt that he was exposed to everyone else's mood before and after.



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 02:08 PM
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originally posted by: AutumnWitch657
a reply to: mysterioustranger

At six I was forbidden to go to my grandmother's funeral or wake. As a child I lacked proper closure and felt it keenly. The last memory of my grandmother was her sweeping the kitchen floor as I left the house to go to school. When I came home at three she was gone. That's it just gone. No goodbyes no prayers in a formal sense. I certainly prayed for her soul like any good Catholic girl would. (She was Baptist so...) but there was something lacking in the whole process for me.


For a rarity I agree with you. My father died when I was 6, my younger sister 4. My Mother did not take us to the funeral but told us our Father was on a hill under a beautiful tree, it left us not understanding and confused as he was "never coming home again".
It was a full honors military funeral with 21 gun salute our older brother and sister attended.

I think being there would have brought closure and understanding that we needed. The thing is you KNOW already, the person is gone everyone is sad, you need to be included in the grief process.



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 02:14 PM
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You should probably focus on your own mourning. Leave your son with his grandmother, and do this for yourself.



posted on Jul, 4 2015 @ 04:03 PM
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a reply to: Aboom

I think, even though he won't understand truly, that you should tell him in a manner that you are comfortable with and include him in the funeral.

Death is a part of life and children 'know' when something is weighing on their parents - include him in your sorrow, in your joy of having such a fine friend and in moving on.

This, by modeling and sharing, is how we learn to deal with the difficult parts of life. It will bring the two of you closer.

Don't try to 'protect' him from reality, teach him how to work with it in a productive manner.

My condolences on your loss. You may finding it comforting yourself to have your son by your side - he may just teach you something new...



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 12:12 AM
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Thank you for all of the responses. The funeral was actually today. I had prepared the post the night before and was so spent, i must have fallen asleep prior to actually posting it. I awoke this morning realizing this and posted anyway "as is" since I didn't have it in me to correct at the time. I told my son this morning and answered (still answering, lol) alot of questions Like "why does God want us to die?" He initially said he wanted to go but as things turned out, he got caught up playing with Grandma who had stopped "to visit" and I went ahead and left with the plan that we would go visit the gravesite later. When i returned, he asked as to my whereabouts so I told him the truth (which even i was not expecting, but behind % 100%): "We had part of the funeral in the church and the burial was postponed because a doctor is going to look at Rodney closely to see exactly what was the cause of his death. SO, my son will be going with me to the cemetery when the burial happens. His daughter requested an autopsy secondary to his passing after being discharged from the ER "to go home," but not the one expected so soon. It simply doesn't seem like it should have been his time. The ceremony I attended solo did allow me to grieve without any thought of responsibility and without any restraint or urge to compose myself. If my son had persisted upon my leaving the house that he go too, his clothes were out and ready...so I left the possibility open anyway for my son to go, I just didn't bring it up again figuring he'd speak up to ensure he didn't miss anything (which he is known for doing, kid doesn't miss much!). Thanks again for the responses. To my best friend, Rodney, i love you man and consider myself lucky to have known you for so long...you will be forever missed.



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 11:31 AM
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a reply to: Aboom

I don't think its wrong to teach your children about death from an early age in fact it may make them realize how precious life really is. I've seen a few people say your child is to young to understand death, but children are capable of much more than we give the credit for. I don't know your beliefs about the afterlife, if your of a religion tell your child what you believe happens after death. If you are an atheist or agnostic who thinks death is the end, then I would probably hold off a few years just so you don't scared him . Thats my opinion anyways.




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