preparing for loss of a grandparent

by jenn
(michigan)

I recently found out that my grandmother who is 94 year-old is being sent home from the hospital visit. She will be returning home with the help of amazing hospice workers. It is just a matter of time due to some heart problems. I was reading the section on children and grieving. There was great information but is there any information about preparing children for that last visitation? My daughter is turning 6 in June and experienced the loss of my grandfather (other side of the family) last year. We were honest with her and she did well by asking many questions. So my questions is with her grasp thus far on death how do I explain the near death without upsetting her, my parents,and my grandmother who is going to pass? I just want to add that I am close to completing my bachelor degree of social work and even with my education and resources I am just a vulnerable human without an answer.

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Mar 27, 2014
preparing for loss of a grandparent
by: Doreen UK

Jenn I am glad you are being honest with your daughter. It doesn't matter if one is the President of a country or a Social worker with a degree. Bad things happen and we are often thrown into a tailspin and don't have time to prepare ourselves or process life and death issues. Many children are protected by parents who mean well and often this is the start of dysfunction in families. This is what happened to my parents having lost one of their parents and how it made them feel. They as children were not allowed to express themselves and protected as they were, years ago which was normal for those days. What one learns they pass on and this can be the start of dysfunction in the family. Best way forward is to be honest, and open but the question is. How open should one be? You could ask your daughter what her understanding of death is? What does she thinks happens? Is she afraid of death? Where does she think the person goes after they die. etc. Ask leading questions that will cause her to find some of her own answers with your guidance making the necessary adjustments to any wrong perception in her thinking she may have learned from TV or other people. Often distortions can form part of one's thinking and hard to undo. None of us has all the answers. WE will make mistakes. But your daughter will be glad she was able to talk to you and this will pave the way for her to keep having good communication with you. You could also see a grief counsellor who will give you the best guidance here. Best wishes.

Mar 27, 2014
Jenn
by: Anonymous

Jenn, give your daughter the same info as you did with her grandfather . She will more than likely ask the same questions as she did then.

God be with you during this difficult time.

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