My mother is dying as I sit at her bedside

by Pam
(North Wales)

My worry aside from my own personal grief when the hour comes is when I should tell my 11 year old daughter her nanna has just died. She has to sit her SATS exams in 4 days time. Should I tell her when it happens which will be the honest thing to do but which would devastate her and effect her exams, or do I tell her after her exams are over (4 days later)? I just want to protect her but she also has a right to know the truth. I'm desperate for advice and suggestions.

Comments for My mother is dying as I sit at her bedside

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May 09, 2013
by: Amie u.k

I re-read your post, your daughter is 11. I would still be honest when it happens sats arent a huge deal, it wont shape the rest of her education, if shes an intelligent girl. You really cant keep it from her. Just be there to support and guide her through the grief and allow yourself to grieve too

Best wishes

May 09, 2013
Your mum
by: Amie u.k

You are a wonderful daughter for being at our mothers side and your a wonderful mother for caring about the effect your mothers passing will have on your daughter an her exams. I think the best thing to do is be honest. If she fails her exams she can always go back and re sit them when she feels ready ( its not the end of thw world) my nana is dying of cancer right now (im 20 with 2 young kids) and i know if i was in your daughters situation i would be angry and hurt that my mum kept that from me for any length of time even if she thought she was doing whats best. Your daughters young and if shes close to your mum then in her eyes she wont think there is any reason good enough to keep something like that from her.

Wishing you and your family the best

May 09, 2013
My mother is dying as I sit at her bedside
by: Doreen U.K.

Pam I have just commented on this in the last post. This is a difficult one. I have many experiences of people who have suffered all their life because they were never told the truth about their loved one and it has left them with a sadness for years and anger. I have also known of people who have been traumatised by seeing the body in the coffin because the family wanted to be open and honest about death. It depends on how a person is told about the death. Consideration of their feelings. Asking them if they want to attend the funeral of their loved one. If you say nothing till after the exams your daughter may resent you later for not telling her. She may become angry even if you have her best interests at heart that she gets through her exams. There is a great part of the parent that wants to protect and shield a child/Adult child from what is happening. This is normal. But how far one goes can cause us sleepless nights.
If you don't tell your daughter her nana has died she won't be able to go to the funeral and she may resent this.
Ask her questions? e.g. If your nana died would you want to know? How would you feel if I didn't tell you? When she dies would you want to go to the funeral? How would you feel if you didn't attend the funeral of your nana? How would you feel if I wanted to protect you from a death of any family member? Would you hate me for it? Would you understand that I had your best interests at heart?
Asking questions allows the child to make the decision (depending on age). Asking questions gives you insight into how your child is feeling and thinking. Asking questions allows the child to feel valued and respected that you are considering their feelings. These are just some thoughts to tease out in your own mind so that you can get a wider perspective on what to do. We will never know as a parent whether we are making the right decisions for our children in way of protecting them. We usually learn as we go on and then years later all the resentments come up. e.g. Mum "Do you remember such and such a time this thing happened" and then they begin to pour out their feelings and many a parent gets a shock to realise they were doing their best for their child and in the child's eyes it wasn't the right thing. Think carefully and weigh up all the areas of concern and then go with your heart. Just don't ever feel you made the wrong decision. In life we will. Just don't live with Guilt if a decision was ever the wrong one. Sad to say we learn the most from the mistakes we make. By the time we gain Wisdom. Parenting is over. Children all grown up are having to make the same decisions we had to make for them. But how well we do it will benefit them in their own experiences of parenthood.

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