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    lovingaunt's Avatar
    lovingaunt Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Mar 31, 2007, 06:32 PM
    Toddlers and Funerals
    My brothers father in law passed away in a traffic accident last night. He and his wife have a 3 year old girl. My brother is torn between wanting to go along with his wife and mother in laws wishes about having his daughter present for ALL aspects of the preparations, visitations and the funeral, but is afraid that it is just too much for a 3 year old to comprehend, or deal with. His first instinct was to call me to come get her at least for the planning stages. He was berated for it and was in my opinion forced to change his mind. His mother in laws reasoning was that when she was 7 and kept out of the events surrounding her mothers death it haunted her for the rest of her life. She also stated that my niece would be able to make her feel better, that she NEEDS her. I don't think they are thinking clearly. First of all there is a big difference between a 3 year old and 7 year old in terms of ability to cope with emotions and grief. Secondly how can they expect a 3 year old to make it better? That's an awful lot on such small shoulders. This girl has no idea why grandma and mommy are crying so much, yet she's supposed to make them feel better? I know I have a tendency to be overprotective of her as both her aunt and godmother, but I want what is best for my niece and I'm scared to death that they are just inviting trouble with my nieces ability to cope with death in the future. I decided to come to the funeral myself so at least one person will be attending solely to the needs of my niece, but I'm concerned about the rest that they insist she be present for. To make matters worse my sister in law and her mother now think it will be healthy for my niece to see her grandfather in the coffin, and have decided to go against the ministers advice for closed casket (due to the extent of injuries). Am I just over reacting, or are they setting my niece up for some serious emotional problems?:(
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,302, Reputation: 7692

    Mar 31, 2007, 06:38 PM
    For a very short time at visitation ( but remember she does not fully understand and will be in the back playing or making some noise.

    And then at the funeral. But she does not understand and can't fully understand all of this.

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