Toddlers & Older Children <
13/12/2010 at 18:30
I have a bit of a problem and I don't know how to address it. My mother-in-law died quite suddenly recently. The thing is I don't know how, or what to tell my 20 month old daughter. We've tried not to let her see us upset but she senses that something is wrong.
Whenever we went to the in-laws in the past the first person she always went to was her Nanna. Now there's only Grandad there. I think she's missing her Nanna and she's become very clingy. It's as though she thinks that anybody who leaves the room won't come back again. I went out to the shops the other day and she cried and cried until I came back. She's having me up in the night as well, sometimes two or three times. I know that in a few weeks time she probably won't remember much about her Nanna but in the meantime I just don't know what to tell her. Any advice would be most appreciated.
13/12/2010 at 19:20
thats rearly hard, i think its just a case of resuring her that she wont be left. and if you feel up to it talk to her about her nanna it may help.
this must be so hard for all of you, it will pass with your daughter, (((hugs)))
16/12/2010 at 11:27
I can only speak from personal experience - my dad died when I was 9, my father in law died when my son was 2 1/2, but after a long illness. When my dad died, he wasn't mentioned again, and I found it really hard to grieve, as I felt I had to do it in secret, and I don't have so many memories of him, because mum & I didn't talk about him (that was the done thing 30 years ago). However, last year when granddad died, we discussed it with our son, and explained very broadly about people dying. He didn't really get it, but when he could speak better in later months he did ask a lot of questions about dying, when he would die etc. As we are not religious it was difficult to give a reassuring answer, but he handled the facts very well - kids are quite direct, and like direct answers, but you have to second guess what's going to work best for your daughter.
However, I would suggest talking positively about her memories of Nanna, maybe making a photo album or scrapbook for her, so that she can look through it when she wants to remember, and she can refer to in years to come, plus lots of reassurances. Always tell her before you go somewhere that you'll be away a little while, and you'll be back before tea, etc.
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