March 2013 Moms

Should I bring dd to funeral?

Need some advice, if you all have any My DH and I decided to not let Our dd who is just over 2 1/2 come to the visitation and funeral of my dh's grandma but then his mom my mil said she wants her there. So now dh says our daughter has to go. But I really feel like she isn't ready to handle that kind of situation. She is very smart and aware of her surroundings and I'm worried all the sad people and crying will upset her and cause her to act out or be scared. I don't know what to do? I just don't think an almost 3 year old is ready for that sort of thing. Ideas? She has never met this great grandma, she's been in a nursing home for 4 years. In my opinion I just feel she won't understand it and she will be scared and upset seeing her daddy and her grandma mil upset. Help!? I just want to do the right thing by my daughter. I don't want this to impact her. But I also want to make sure my DH and his mom understand my feelings.

Re: Should I bring dd to funeral?

  • I can understand your hesitation, but I think it's different than bringing, say, a 4 y/o.  Your DD will most likely be satisfied with a pretty basic explanation and not ask so many questions like an older child would.

    Kids can bring so much light and hope, so I can understand why your MIL would look forward to seeing her to help brighten her day and cope.

    At the end of the day, it's your decision, but I would try to understand MIL's point of view, too.  Have you brought up your concerns to her (MIL) and asked her what she thinks? 

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  • Does your MIL have any good reason for your DD being there? I think funerals are sad and confusing times. I don't think it's the best place for a toddler to be if they don't absolutely have to be there. It may help to lighten the mood for your MIL if your DD is there but I'm sure there will be others who will occupy your MIL's attention. I wouldn't take her.
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  • I agree with you, I would leave her with someone. I would be more worried about keeping her entertained and quiet, you can only expect so much from a 2 year old.
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  • Meh - I went to my great grandma's visitation and funeral about that age and no permanent damage was done.  Perhaps your MIL wants her here so that people will have something other than their sadness to dwell on because they'll get to see a bright shiny new life playing and interacting with family??  We had quite a few deaths in a row in my family over the last 3 years and people have never shied away from bringing their LOs.  Honestly, I found the distraction nice too!  Just don't tell her that ggma is sleeping!!
  • I would personally leave her out of this situation.  I wouldn't think it was appropriate for a child of that age, seems like the MIL wants her there more for herself, DD doesn't need "closure" to come to terms with the loss of her g-gm I'm sure. 

    Sorry for the loss, as well. 

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  • My family and my husbands family are big on children being at funerals..sure people are sad and there may even be people crying but when those people see the children it gives them hope and happiness.. It's ultimately up to you as the parent but I understand the idea of the children being there.. My kids have been to several funerals and it hasn't done anything to them we don't tell them they are sleeping we explained they have died and they are now up in heaven watching over us and they say there goodbyes and I think it's good for them to understand.

  • I have a dd your age and have brought her to a closed casket wake and funeral before. However, I would only ever bring her to an open casket wake if it were an immediate family member, basically out of respect. If this funeral is closed casket and your just worried about people crying and what not then I don't think it would be that inappropriate to bring her. I just dont want my dd to see a dead body at this age unless she has to if it's a close family member.
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  • I had a similar situation with my DS which was only about 18 months. My DH grandparents wanted him at the visitation because a lot of out of town family that had't seen him was there (I know Confused  I didn't really think that was the place for one that small, but not wanting to cause a ruckus, I compromsed. The funeral home was in my home town and my mom was nearby. I took DS and let him put in his appearance and then sent him to mom's house. She came to the visitation paid her respects and left with him. He never went into the parlor with the deceased.


  • Honestly, my reasoning for not bringing her isn't the same as your's.  I wouldn't want to take him because my attention would have to be (nearly) fully on him.  I'd really want that time to spend with adult family, pay my respects, etc. 

    Aside from that, DS is a wild man and I know he would be very distracting to others.

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  • Unfortunately, in the last year and a half we had four funerals to attend, three great-grandfathers (to DD) and my step-father. The first was when DD was a few months past two, then two when she was a few ,on the shy of three, and the last a few months later. She was very unaware of the first one, he asked us who was sleeping and I told her that Pawpaw was older, tired and had gotten sick so Jesus called him to be with him and the angels. Obviously- that is our religious belief but she was satisfied with that response, and when she noticed someone was sad we simply said that they were sad that he was gone. When the next funerals came about eight monthsI this later she asked if they were going to Heaven to be with Pawpaw- so she made the connection, asked a few more questions (why was he sick, etc.) but there were no adverse reactions. 

    Its all a personal preference, I don't want to shelter her from the natural occurrences in life- it helped her when my moms dog passed away, funny how kids get attached to animals. it was the first time (after all the funerals we attended) that she put together that Heaven wasn't a place you came home from. we talked about how it was ok to be sad and that we always remember those we love. 

    Side note- I have tried to be careful not to blame being old, or sick in a general manner for death. I don't want her to associate sickness or old age with death.

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  • If I *had* to bring my 2 year old I would, but I wouldn't if I could get a baby sitter.  If I did bring her, I would keep her in the back and away from the casket.

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