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Death and Grieving Coping with loss is difficult at any age, but you are not alone during this difficult time. Reach out to other users in this forum.

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dimpleofbeauty Offline
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Good friend of mine is dying... how to tell his kids - June 10th 2017, 12:43 PM

My best friend's husband fell ill before Christmas last year. He kept feeling sick and having seizures. He went to the doctors they said it was due to stress and hormonal headaches. In January he got rushed to hospital and on his 39th birthday was told it was a brain tumour. We didn't know if it was cancer or not. He got offered a operation which got held back 5 times before getting the tumour removed. From there they done a biopsy to be told it was stage 4 cancer. He is a father of 4 children the girls are 9(she is in a wheelchair and has cerebral palsy) 6, (she has behaviour difficulties) and 2(she doesn't understand also she is my goddaughter) then they have a 7 month old son whose my godson. My best friend is 27 and she's scared because her husband is in a hospice and has be going down hill and they told her he only as weeks to live. She is scared of being alone but I've told her I'm not going anywhere I've helped take the children to school since January and that will still be done after he's gone to. I'm not going to let her suffer and help with funeral arrangements to. The main thing however is the children they don't know because she can't break the news to them. So I've offered to tell the girls which I don't think my goddaughter will fully understand yet. I'm much stronger to do this and she's grateful that I'm helping however it's how to break it to them I don't have kids myself as I can't have them but I love these 4 with all my heart. I wanted to go something creative to make it easier. Has anyone got any ideas? Thank you
   
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Re: Good friend of mine is dying... how to tell his kids - June 11th 2017, 01:43 PM

I am sorry all of you are going through this. It must be really difficult on everyone. It is awesome of you to want to support your friend, though; she is lucky to have someone like you as a friend.

Some of the children seem too young to have memories of their father, but perhaps you could ask the ones that are able to communicate if they have any memories of their father. You could also ask them what they like best about him. Perhaps they could draw these memories or act them out in a skit.

When you tell them about their father, maybe you can tell them something short and simple to remember. For instance, you can tell them that their dad's time on earth is almost done, or that he is receiving medical care and the doctor's said that he has limited time left. After you explain that he is dying, you could use a euphemism and say that their dad is going to a different place or that he'll soon be smiling down on them.

Best of luck telling them, and take good care of yourself as well.


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Re: Good friend of mine is dying... how to tell his kids - June 11th 2017, 05:55 PM

thank you for the advice i will take that on board
   
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Re: Good friend of mine is dying... how to tell his kids - June 13th 2017, 06:37 AM

Some children take it better, as they are so young, they just accept it as, "Oh this is what happens."

It really depends on how attached they are to the person dying.

It sounds like the wife has a fear of being left behind alone. She may feel the need for reassurance that she will have continued support of many other people to help her. She may feel the need to have other people around her.

Hospice, counseling, any type of support groups, may be helpful.
   
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Re: Good friend of mine is dying... how to tell his kids - June 15th 2017, 01:49 AM

I work with a organization that does art therapy for children who have experienced the death of someone close to them such as a parent. I think that with the older two it's best to be as honest as possible about the fact that their father is dying. If your friend and her family are religious you could always say something along the lines of 'He is going to be with God because he is really sick.' If your friend and her family aren't religious then it might just be easier to discuss the fact that their father will no longer be around because he is sick and he has a limited time on earth.

The other children seem kind of young so I am not sure how you would go about talking to them, mainly the two year old, I think the two year old will notice his absence but I am unsure if the two year old is old enough to realize what death is exactly.

Something I would suggest is that you and your friend try and look into seeing if their are art therapy groups or any other groups for children who have suffered through a loss. I do know there are only like two or three in the USA that are similar to my program but I am unsure if that means there aren't other programs available. Also, grief counseling might be something to look into for everyone involved even your friend. I know there are a number of places that offer free grief counseling which can actually be helpful.

Best of luck.


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Re: Good friend of mine is dying... how to tell his kids - June 16th 2017, 01:07 PM

Thank you I do Art therapy myself with children who suffer the effects of domestic abuse at home. The hospice he was in do Art therapy sessions with children. He has recently passed and the 2 older children are heartbroken but fully understand the situation me and a friend said to them that daddy has a special ticket to go to heaven. It was heartbreaking but we are supporting them.
   
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Re: Good friend of mine is dying... how to tell his kids - June 16th 2017, 07:15 PM

It is very nice of you. You are truely a very good friend. In my opinion, you have got to tell them sooner or later. Maybe it is wise to tell them earlier and let time passes. They will feel better.
   
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Re: Good friend of mine is dying... how to tell his kids - June 18th 2017, 06:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dimpleofbeauty View Post
Thank you I do Art therapy myself with children who suffer the effects of domestic abuse at home. The hospice he was in do Art therapy sessions with children. He has recently passed and the 2 older children are heartbroken but fully understand the situation me and a friend said to them that daddy has a special ticket to go to heaven. It was heartbreaking but we are supporting them.
I am sorry to hear that he passed but I am glad that you and your friend are there to support the children.

In regards to the Art Therapy, I know a lot of the younger kids in the program I volunteer at really enjoy it and when they come out of a session...their face are lit up. Even the older and more hesitant kids come around. I know the program I volunteer from wants the families to wait a while after the death before participating. I believe we require a three month wait.

I will be thinking about the family while they deal with the loss. I know it is a difficult thing to go through but it's amazing that you are there to support them.


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Re: Good friend of mine is dying... how to tell his kids - June 19th 2017, 09:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dimpleofbeauty View Post
Thank you I do Art therapy myself with children who suffer the effects of domestic abuse at home. The hospice he was in do Art therapy sessions with children. He has recently passed and the 2 older children are heartbroken but fully understand the situation me and a friend said to them that daddy has a special ticket to go to heaven. It was heartbreaking but we are supporting them.
Sorry for your loss
   
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