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When grandparents die...what to tell the grandkids?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Rumzini, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    Seems there have been a couple of "death" threads as of late that it got me thinking about something yesterday. My mother and father are approaching their late 60's now. Mom has had constant heart and breathing problems...dad had 5 way heart bypass a few years ago and has diabetes. As far as my mom is concerned I have become ever vigil of the day that I get, "the call". With this info, couple it with this. The first two years of my 3 year old and the first year of my two year old were spent at my mom and dads house during the day as my wife and I worked. this has constructed a HUGE bond between my parents and them. There isn't a day that goes by without them asking about Meme and Papa, "where are they?, when they gonna pick us up?, they're gonna take us to Ba Bevens and to Toy r us." they are basically just about as much they're parents as we are. Now I never new my grandparents. I vaguley remember my uncle holding me and taking me up to the casket to see my grandfather.

    What I'm getting at is this. Does anyone have any advice on ho to help them deal with their passing when the time comes. How do I explain it to them? Mind you religion is not a big thing with me. With my wife she believes, there is a God, but we don't go to church and we don't preach anything to the kids, (she has 12 and 9 yr old boys from a previous marriage). I know there is the ," Meme and Papa went to Heaven line, what else is there, I'm in the dark on this one?
  2. Rat


    Mar 15, 2005
    Boston Sewers
    you tell them the truth.....they lived a long life and loved them very much and the time they spent with them made them very happy.
  3. plexibass


    Jun 30, 2005
    my mom only got to be with her first grandchild for 6 months. my mom died of cancer. my neice obviously doesnt remember grandma marian but my brother does a good job of telling her about mom. my mom was in tremendous amounts of pain the last 5-10yrs of her life and i think she held on until she got her first grandchild. i agree with the above post. keep telling them that they made your parents very happy and they were loved. they wont comprehend for a while. i'm almost 37 and i dont comprehend it.
  4. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Tell them the truth. I had to do this with my kids, when my dad died. My son was older (12) at the time, and it was so hard in him, because he was real close to his Grandpa. But my little girl was just 4. I told her that Grandpa got very old, and then when we get old, our bodies don't work very well, and we can get very sick. I told her that he had been so very sick that the doctors couldn't fix it for him anymore, and that his body had to die because it wouldn't work right any longer. I told her that God, in His mercy, decided to let Grandpa's sould come be with Him, so that Grandpa would not be sick anymore. I told her that Grandpa loved her very, very much, and that he didn't want to have to die, but that it just could not be helped. I told her to always remember the good times she had with Grandpa, and to think of him, to keep his memory alive. Most of these things were in response to questions from her.

    And now, at 7, she still sighs sometimes and says, "I sure do miss Grandpa. I wish he hadn't died. Mommy, can I look at his picture?" Then she'll look at Grandpa for a while, put the picture away, and go on and play.

    I do the same thing.

  5. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Good answer.

    I would also add that kids can grow up real fast in a few short years... that could very well have an effect on the way you tell them. When the time comes, you'll know what to say.
  6. My grandfather died when I was in 1st grade. He had all these cool stories about fighting in WW2, and being a firefighter, and working with the US Forest Service. His death was quick and unexpected, while he was in the hospital for some minor surgery. We were going to visit him and he died before we got there. We were told by a nurse. All I remember is feeling very sad. I gues as long as you tell the kids that grandma and grandpa don't have a choice in this, then the anger shouldn't show up. Yeah, they will be sad for a long time. But remember that "a long time" for a kid is only a couple days. Then they should be back to their normal selves.

    Rock on
  7. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    +1 on the truth. I keep it short and simple, tell them some good things about them and open it up for question and answer. Then revisit it after they have had time to digest it.
  8. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    Thanks everyone so far for all the responses. I had allready figured truth is the best. It was just how to put it to them.
  9. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    My family is fairly simple to deal with when it comes to death.

    we cry when we find out

    We cry at the funeral.

    The next day, we more or less just move on with our lives, except for the yearly cemetery visit...

    I've lost both of my dad's parents... When my grandpa died, my dad just called and said granpa passed away, and they were going to his house to make arrangements yada yada... When my grandma died, my mom just came into my room, told me she died... gave me a hug... and that was that.

    I think the KISS approach is best.
  10. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
  11. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Just tell them the truth, that they died. That they're not gone from the world because your kids still have the memories and love for them in their hearts.

    That advice helped me alot when I lost a grandparent.
  12. plexibass


    Jun 30, 2005
    keep it simple stupid- thats what it means. i'm not calling you stupid.
  13. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    Ah...that phrase I've heard. Wasn't thinking.

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