I need some help please

A discussion of any suicide issue or grief topic that don't fit elsewhere.

I need some help please

Postby xjulesx » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:24 am

If to tell my kids the truth of how their dad died, they just think he died cause he was ill, the reason I've not told them more is cause of their ages, the oldest is 6 and the youngest 2, they are seeing a counseller and sheseems to think they need to know the truth, mainly the oldest one as he is questioning her about his death! She feels it's better to be honest and that kids are very adaptable etc but myself and other families are not so sure!

Has anybody here told kids this young and if so how did they react etc??

If you were in my position would you try and protect them and say nothing until they were older or get it all out now??

Please help as I have til saturday to givemy counseller an answer and I also have a very curious 6 year old who wants to know more

thanks
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Re: I need some help please

Postby Tootle » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:57 am

Dear xjulesx
First off I am very sorry for the loss of your husband and your childrens father.. My partner lost his wife 15 years ago to suicide and he questioned whether he should tell her at 5 years old.. He eventually did shortly after and was never sorry that he did, but tell it to them in such a way they can understand.. I don't know how your husband died.. But my partner's wife took her life with a gun.. He told his 5 year old, she heard that mommy got tired of living and decided to go away to heaven. The neighbor kids knew what happened and they talked about it when they played. Yes she was sad, but she was back playing and laughing the very next day, how resilient these children are! She is now 20 and a healthy minded brave young woman who knows the truth! Yes, she misses her mom deeply and she always will.

Please tell your children, and tell them you will never leave them like Daddy did, keep their trust, leaving it till they get older will only cause them pain then and cause mistrust..

How strange that I would be with this man for 10 years only to have my own brother take his life with a gun as well in November 2010.. Life works in odd ways..

Take care and be honest with your children...

Gentle hugs to you
In memory of my big brother Rob, my hero and best friend.

To forget time. To forgive life. To be at peace.
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Re: I need some help please

Postby ScottsMom » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:32 am

This is very personal and only you know your children- the therapist knows her history with them- you know them fully. That said, your kids need to know the answers to their questions - not those of a therapist or neighborhood friend.

Age and maturity is always an issue. The level of understanding death as permanent, suicide, and emotion are all wildcards. So the nature of your information must be tailored to account for more than a need to know.

My 6 year old was 2.5 when my son died. Scott was very important to him maybe even at the top of his list. His questions and my asking another question helped me understand what needed answering and to what degree. The truth is dangerous if it causes more harm by instilling fear or is innappropriate for age/maturity. I know your kids might hear and have heard things already. You never want to appear to them as a liar but need to phrase things truthfully with enough specifics for that child to understand this was unique. If one says Daddy went to sleep and did not wake up - its so vague the child may fear others will die from falling asleep. Do I make sense?

What did he hear? She died by gunshot? She shot herself? Killed herself? Things more cruel like - she didn't want to be your mom? Until you have some answers you can look like a liar even in truth if your child already has ideas that are either truthful or grounded in opinion (what those children overheard) or truth.

I don't think there are essy answers and I might get another opinion if I was unsure about my childs healthy processing of grief. But either way, I would get more information before deciding. Then you must decide how to offer answers and plan for the response. Kids think fast and speak their mind- you gotta be ready to field whatever your answers give rise to

I hope you can resolve this for all of you in a healthy way
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Re: I need some help please

Postby booboolewis » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:45 pm

xjulesx,

I am not a parent but just had a few thoughts...

one thing that struck me was something that you said....."they are seeing a counseller and sheseems to think they need to know the truth, mainly the oldest one as he is questioning her about his death!" my first thoughts were, why does the therapist think this??? what is your son saying, and where did he get the info (friends, overhearing, etc., etc...)? how is he reacting when he is talking about his father?

i agree with the other responders about what a slippery slope this situation is for you and I don't have a clear-cut answer....yes, there is the issue of instilling trust in your children, ie, that you aren't going anywhere, etc.....but I also (again, hypothetically bc i am not a parent) would be worried about a child misunderstanding and trying to harm themself "to be with daddy/mommy/God" or thinking that what happened is an answer for them...although I am sure (well, assuming) that the counselor could explain that to your children and work with them to work through any confusion relating to that....

Ultimately, i would speak with the therapist about what i mentioned above re your son possibly knowing, and then ask a list of questions about how she would address these issues....

Gosh, this is such a hard situation, and my heart goes out to you..good luck and you are in my thoughts and prayers!!
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Re: I need some help please

Postby ScottsMom » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:57 pm

xjulesx

Forgive me for flipping roles of parent loss in my post. I am careful and try to be sensitive with details- I guess I mixed the posts or something. I hope you understood regardless.

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Re: I need some help please

Postby Blossom » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:24 am

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Last edited by Blossom on Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I need some help please

Postby xjulesx » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:38 am

Thanks for the replies, I should add we had split
up at the time and living apart, he had depression for a few years but the main reason
he killed himself was cause he wanted us to get back together, I said to him who knows what will happen in the future but at the moment no and if I did ever take him back he would need to change for good but he just gave up and hung himself!!
I'm not sure how I can tell the kids he hung himself, I can't get my head round it so god knows how a 6 year old could !

I'm worried telling him( I say him as in the oldest one, as he's the one with the questions and the others are too young)will have him saying weren't we enough to stop daddy dying , I don't want him to ever feel his daddy didn't love him enough and although he's young I'm also worried he may experiment with things to see how daddy died!!

All we told them was daddy was ill and died at night, which we now know was not the right thing to say but we told them hours after their dad was found so it was not thought through!!

I've since told him that daddy was not well in his head and reminded him that daddy was taking tablets to try and getbetter but they didn't work, i told him this cause he keeps asking how he died, he still asks but how his head made him die and to be honest I just say it broke like a car meaning daddy died, I don't know if to go one further and say he choose to die or leave it at that!!

The counseller is getting the same questions from him and this is why she is pushing me to let her tell him the truth but I'm just not sure at all but feel he will not stop asking til he knows.
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Re: I need some help please

Postby xjulesx » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:40 am

Scottsmum. Yes I understood thanks

sorry for all our losses, you are all in my thoughts , this has to be one of the worst things anyone can go through
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Re: I need some help please

Postby ScottsMom » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:03 am

xjulesx

Have you checked Amazon for books? I have created a wish list for our groups library and I believe there are several on dealing with childrens grief and (I believe) suicide specific as well.

Thanx for your clarifying info. I still think your gut is telling you to get more advice and tread lightly. Remember that this is a lifelong loss and some answers can wait, those that can't need careful consideration.

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