FIL died this morning...expected but still hard [sad]

(6 Posts)
WheresMyCow Mon 14-Jan-13 11:37:17

He had multiple brain tumours and had been on the decline since last week. I'm currently carrying on it work as if everything is normal, just need to keep busy.

How do I help DH through this? I just don't know what to do and how do I/we tell our DS what has happened. He's only 2.3 sad

Sleepysand Mon 14-Jan-13 12:38:53

My father died almost 20 years ago of brain tumours secondary to bladder cancer.

Get some compassionate leave. Get DH into doing all the practical stuff, because you cannot get better until the funeral is done. Focus on getting a funeral together that will be part of the healing process. We chose not to have Dad's favourite music because it would then always be sad, but my sister and I both did readings. We made sure everyone knew and there were 200 people there. Oddly that made it feel more intimate.

Controversial but my sons (18m and 36m at the time) both came to the funeral, and I think that helped. Children accept and understand death more easily than we do. Make sure you avoid saying "Grandad was very old" - actually give a reason or he will think all old people die - and make sure he knows that if anything like that ever looks likely to happen to anyone else, he will be told, so he does not need to worry. My boys were fine. One said "when Grandad goes to heaven does he take that wooden box with him?" which was quite interesting.

WheresMyCow Mon 14-Jan-13 12:58:28

Thanks Sleepysand

Unfortunately for DH, not sure how much involvement he will have in the funeral arrangements - his mum and dad were divorced and his stepmum doesn't really involve him in anything.

I think that's what is hardest for him, that he feels like an outsider

And again, I don't think it will be our decision re: DS coming to the funeral. His stepsisters daughter is just 2 weeks older than DS and they have already said that she is not going to the funeral and asked for us not to take DS. We wouldn't say that he was old...he was only just 69, it's just how to tell him.

Sleepysand Mon 14-Jan-13 13:10:33

My Dad was 69 too.

Sorry to hear of the other problems - they will undoubtedly make things worse. One thing I did was write a letter to my dad (after he was dead). I still get it out and read it, and add to it, at times. It is a sort of record of my grief and a way of saying things that I didn't get to say. I also did a 10K run to raise money in his name. I talk about him a lot, though I have no photos (he hated them!)

Well, I think I would explain to DS that Daddy is very sad and tell him why. Say that there will be a chance to say his goodbyes but that GD has gone to a different place now and we won't see him again, but that he still cares for and loves DS from that place. Ask him to draw a picture or something similar for GD so that he can see that we are thinking of him. Tell him that he can help your DH by remembering GD with him.

After the funeral, take DS to a resting place if you have one, or even a place GD used to go and show the letter and picture. Then put them in a special place (we have a box) and tell him that when he wants to remember GD that he can look at that picture.

I wouldn't dwell on it after that, as I do think children get over it much more quickly than we do.

WheresMyCow Mon 14-Jan-13 13:15:57

Thanks...I like the idea of writing a letter, I think that will help DH so much and thanks for your ideas for how to tell DS thanks

Sleepysand Mon 14-Jan-13 13:19:46

Good luck. Time does heal, though the first few months really hurt a lot. I still think of him every day, and cry occasionally, usually when my hormones are crazy. But that is fairly normal and healthy, I think. Good luck again - your DH is lucky to have such a caring wife.

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