Well that went as badly as expected...

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Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Careless Whisperer @ Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:55 pm

It's that time of year again when I get all introspective and bore you all with the effects of the single great big shit thing that has happened in my life. This year Mrs CW has dealt with things much easier and I now seem to get through this time of year in a straightforward manner and even allow my thoughts to dwell on the real meaning of Remembrance Day, rather than our own personal one.

There has been one big difference this year though, that of Master CW getting older and being more aware of life (and death) around him. It started a few months ago when an distant old relative died and he started asking questions. We gave the usual vague responses.

He then noticed a photo when he was staying at my parents house of his Mum and Dad holding a baby. We had deliberately left a similar picture in our house as a medium to raise the subject when the time came, but it took my Mum by surprise and she struggled to explain it wasn't him or Little Miss CW.

Over the few weeks it came up in conversation more frequently and he asked about Baby Oliver, but never really asked who he was. We didn't volunteer that information.

With all the WW1 commemorations taking place, his school have obviously been talking about war and we have found him talking more about people dying. He even asked if he could wear a poppy at the weekend, to which I asked if he knew what it meant and he impressed me by answering that it was in memory of the soldiers that died in WW1 and 2.

So with that little backstory we were beginning to think it was time to explain. It was always going to happen one day, but how the hell do you prepare to explain to a 6 year old that the baby he has seen in the photo, who he vaguely knows had died, is actually his brother?

We mulled it over for a few days and then randomly one of Little Miss CW's friends invited her to her house after school for today.

So we took the opportunity to take Master CW with us today. He helped us choose two balloons (one to leave at the grave and another to let off into the sky) and he was really strong about the whole thing. The enormity of what was happening was obvious as soon as he recognised his own surname on the headstone - the very first thing he noticed before we had even stopped walking. He had a brother who he'd never know.

A few tears, a lot of comforting and a great big pizza later and things seemed back to normal. He's been up three times tonight since going to bed though, understandably upset and wishing Oliver was going to his school so they could play together.

I don't know if we've just done the right thing or the worst thing ever. Nobody writes instructions for this side of parenting. I wasn't really getting upset today until now. Now I don't know what he's dreaming about and I might sleep on the floor in his room tonight in case he wakes up upset.

I think we've done it wrong. I think we've done it too soon. :(
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:00 pm

tough timesCW.

I don't think you've done it wrong at all. I hope he copes OK with this news and is as well as can be expected. Children of his age are remarkably emotionally strong and adaptive and I genuienly think he'll surprise you with his strength.
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by phillvr6 @ Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:11 pm

I think you've done it as right as you possibly could have. It was never going to be pleasant or easy.
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Revol @ Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:19 pm

Kids can be tougher than adults can imagine CW and I can totally appreciate your feelings of telling him too soon but I honestly think you have done a courageous and correct thing handling it the way you did. He may well be feeling sad and upset but he has all the people around him he needs to understand and cope with the situation.
I would definitely be breaking out the sleeping bag and being there for him, and for your own sense of reassurance.
Tough decision but it was a good one. :yes:
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Dirk @ Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:29 pm

I think you have done it right too. At that age they can understand a little of what it means, but somehow it is not as devastating as it is for us. Now he can gradually come to terms with it.

I wouldn't sleep in his room though, that just draws attention to it.

Glad I read this alone in hotel room rather than at work. It would be hard to explain the tears
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by span @ Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:37 pm

I've nothing much to add, CW, apart from that I can't think of any way in which you could have handled it more sensitively, and I hope he handles it okay.
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Käsemeister @ Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:17 pm

I think you're a corking Daddy.
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Tumescent Acorn @ Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:19 pm

I'd agree you've done the right thing, and in a very sensible way.
Can't think of a better by myself.

Jesus what a hard thing to do.

I'm sure your little fella will work it our for himself,esp with what sounds like some wonderful support from his parents.
Top parenting.
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Damien Thorn @ Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:20 pm

I think you've dealt with it just right, or at least as right as anyone could in a situation where there's no easy "right" way to do anything. I only hope I would be able display the same degree of wisdom and patience and love under such painful and difficult circumstances.
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Monty @ Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:25 pm

I think you've done it right CW.
Much, much better that he finds out from you rather than by some other means.

I speak not as a parent, but as a child...many years ago!
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Disastrous @ Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:31 pm

Damien Thorn wrote:I think you've dealt with it just right, or at least as right as anyone could in a situation where there's no easy "right" way to do anything. I only hope I would be able display the same degree of wisdom and patience and love under such painful and difficult circumstances.



Absolutely this. Don't think you have anything to beat yourself up about...
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Nicol@ @ Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:34 pm

:crying: You are a daddy to be proud of.
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Careless Whisperer @ Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:58 pm

Monty wrote:I think you've done it right CW.
Much, much better that he finds out from you rather than by some other means.

I speak not as a parent, but as a child...many years ago!

This was always the worry that he'd work it out for himself one day when he's on his own.

He's slept soundly since settling down so I'll leave him until morning. Mrs CW is going to phone his head teacher in the morning and ask they keep an eye out for any unusual behaviour/upset. Trying to be sensitive as his teacher is due to give birth in a few weeks.
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Barbarianna @ Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:48 am

Can offer nothing other than what you did sounds fine.


Frankly, it is extremely difficult to imagine the emotionally dismembering feeling of losing a child, bearing the grief, and then have to regain footing to pass that information to the child's living sibling. It sounds almost superhuman to me that you even got that far. 'Well done for taking and surviving the horrific cruelty that befell you' is what I want to say- there is no way I can even begin to think I have a right to offer a rating of correctness; it is humbling to think you even sought it from us.
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Turntable @ Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:42 am

What norman said.
Anything I say after that will sound stupid.
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by dirtyboy @ Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:01 am

Sounds like it went as well as could be expected and you should be proud.

You've obviously raised Master CW well enough that he's caring and emotional about the things he should be caring and emotional about. That's good in my eyes.
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Deuteronomy @ Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:04 am

Christ, that's made me well up.

You've done really well CW, be proud.
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by DI Burnside @ Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:13 am

I was thinking of you yesterday CW.

Everybody else has already said everything, NDC in particular.
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by moleamol @ Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:06 pm

Duke Thrust wrote:Christ, that's made me well up.

You've done really well CW, be proud.

Same here, and I don't have any wisdom to pass on. I am only even posting so that you know it had an effect but I can only agree with previous posters. Well done CW.
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Firkin @ Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:29 pm

I don't think you did it wrong either. Best he finds out as said via you telling him and not any other way.

Kids adapt far better the younger they are, they are more accepting of things around them rather than making judgements from stuff they've yet to work out.

:hugs: to you all
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Re: Well that went as badly as expected...

Post by Herbie58 @ Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:12 pm

I think you've handled that better than anyone could be expected to in the circumstances.

There is no right way to deal with grief and explaining death to children - you can only do what you think is the right thing at that point in time.

He will deal with it better than you think. You and your wife might need a little bit more time to come to terms with all of the emotion it has brought though. Big hugs.
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