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  1. #871
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    Agree - DD has recently been really into heaven recently, even though we are not religious. (I got her a book of bible stories awhile back, just in case it comes up, and she calls it "the book with the sheep" - haha.) I think people just say to her so much that 'nonno is in heaven' and we talked about what that might look like if it did exist, and she found that comfortable, so we just went with it.
    isabella noelle :: 12.7.09

  2. #872
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    Quote Originally Posted by laura View Post
    Agree - DD has recently been really into heaven recently, even though we are not religious. (I got her a book of bible stories awhile back, just in case it comes up, and she calls it "the book with the sheep" - haha.) I think people just say to her so much that 'nonno is in heaven' and we talked about what that might look like if it did exist, and she found that comfortable, so we just went with it.
    The same happened with DS when my mom died when he was 7. We are not religious but somehow he started talking about heaven (a place that's really beautiful with movies and snacks where people go when they die, definitely not our description) and we also just went with it.


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  3. #873
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    When my FIL passed away my kids were really too young to understand and we explained it pretty literally. If ds1 asked where papa was, I told him in the Cemetary and he could not come back to see us. We did talk about heaven a little as well, but made sure to make him understand that people go there in their dreams after they die.

    When my dad passed ds1 was almost 8 and asked a ton of questions -mostly about how he died (heart) and had lots of questions about the medical side of death. He did attend the funeral service and talked with the priest and he does still talk about heaven every know and then. My kids were not really close to my dad, so I think that helped them. They did not seem to get real sad from what I could see (although I was not home much immediately following his death, so I may have missed that)..

    I did not get them any special books or anything.

  4. #874
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    DD was upset/misses my FIL as they were pretty close, but the biggest immediate deal for her was that my MIL was a hot mess (and others around us to some extent). Totally understandable/appropriate given the situation, but DD did not understand that at all and it freaked her out/upset her probably more than anything else. My in laws were totally the super FUN grandparents, and my FIL dying suddenly totally upset that balance. On top of that we were basically living there at the time so we were just in the middle of everything. It was just all a lot to cope with at any age. It has been over a year now and she still talks about my FIL regularly. She sleeps with a stuffed animal he gave her the Christmas before he died, and that elicits regular talk about him.

    My immediate focus with her mainly was helping her to understand that he got sick and died, but that doesn't mean anyone/everyone else she knows is going to also get sick and die. But at the same time, everyone does die eventually, but usually/hopefully when we are really old. And we talked a lot about how my in laws aren't very old yet, and that's why it was extra upsetting that FIL died and it was a surprise, that's part of the reason why everyone was extra upset. Etc. The books were helpful but really in the end we just had the same conversations over and over and over again. We still do, to some extent.
    isabella noelle :: 12.7.09

  5. #875
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    That makes perfect sense, Laura.

  6. #876
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    A social worker gave me a bunch of books when my dad was in the hospital. I am not home so I am not sure the names. There were 2 sets given my kids ages at the time. We didn't read them to them because while my kids were a lot closer to my parents, my dad was their 3rd grandparent to die in a 2 1/2 year span. My son did ask a lot of questions (he was 6 at the time) and he was definitely confused by the fact that we had 2 burials for him (as we will for my mom). We aren't religious but we do talk about heaven a little bit.


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    J&D - May 2005 *** E - 8/7/06 *** J - 3/17/09

  7. #877
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    I think my boys also have a strong sense that my dad is still with us somehow, which catches me really off guard. Soon after he passed away, they put a fake mustache on the headrest of the passenger seat in my car because "Papa Don is still riding around with us". They do stuff like that often, and always nonchalantly. It's kind of nice and comforting, but I'm just so cynical about it all.

  8. #878
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    I did share with my kids that I often find random dimes and feel that they are a sign from my dad since I only seem to find him either when I have been really thinking about him a lot and I have also found a few feathers i consider signs from him as well. My kids have not latched on to this and it's probably not for everyone, but I do believe that there are signs from heaven for everyone if you look for them. One of my friend's has seen a yellow butterfly every day after her dad died & then saw 2 of them one day- same day her aunt passed away. It sounds odd, but I do find comfort in it. So if you do have kids missing a deceased grandparent you could suggest that they look for these types of signs. Some people find them & some don't.

  9. #879
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    I don't even believe in heaven but right after my mom died, every time I turned my car on, Pink (who was my mom's favorite singer) was playing on the radio. And even though I hadn't seen dolphins in months, all of a sudden I saw bunches of them every time I went to the beach. And when my dad was driving me mad because he was about to make a really stupid decision, I was so aggravated I yelled to the heavens for my mom to please talk some sense into him. And an hour later DH called me to tell me my dad had showed up at our house and told him he had changed his mind and was going to go through with "it" after all (which was the sensible thing to do). Coincidence? Probably. But then again, who knows?


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  10. #880
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    This all sounds about right and very consistent with what I'm experiencing with my kids. My son, who has naturally always been kind of an empath, very sensitive to those around him and hates sad things, immediately wanted to know how my mom was doing, and also physically what happened to the body. There was no funeral, and he was cremated, which was kind of hard to explain to my kids, but I had talked with my friend who is a pediatrician and she said the general rule is to be very factual but only to provide the information they ask for. So I tried to do that.

    My 4 year old was much more fixated on the idea of death and that everyone she knows is going to die. I know this is pretty age-appropriate but it's so sad. It was even worse because she somehow made the connection that she is the youngest in the family and the rest of us are going to die first and leave her all alone. It broke my heart.

    I flew up to see my mother this weekend. I was dreading it but one of my brothers and SIL were also able to be there at the same time, and they also had their 8 month old with them and having a cute baby around definitely helped to lighten the mood. There was lots of manual labor clearing stuff out of the house so my mom can get ready to move in a couple of months, and I actually appreciated having a bit of closure with the house itself...I have lived there since I was 11 so even though I have a lot of toxic memories of it in the past 10 years, I have some happy ones too, and it's kind of weird to think I probably will never be back there.

    Mostly though it's hard to believe this chapter is over!
    Leo 12/5/08 ...and Ivy 7/26/12

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