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Best way to deal with this?


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  #1  
January 24th, 2010, 03:27 PM
Number3ontheway's Avatar Regular
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Well I figured I would ask all of you ladies what I should do to keep myself from getting to upset which in turn may not be safe for the baby, so here it goes... My dad has been in the hospital since Easter Sunday due to having an aortic anorism, well he has slowley been going down hill and my stepmother has decided to take him off the ventilator on Thursday this week. They have deemed him vent dependent and he has in his living will that he does not want to live on a vent, so it is his wishes. They said that he probably won't make it through the evening on thursday, so more than likley I wll be dealing with the death of my father this week. Him and I are best friends so this is really tough, and even tough is that my 2 sons ages 6 and 4 are really close to him and it will be really tough on them. I have heard that pregnant women shouldn't see dead bodies. Why is this? I go to the doctor on Tuesday and was wondering if I should tell her about what is going on to see if she thinks I need some sort of medicine to keep myself calm the next week or so, especially at the funeral. Right now I am ok with everything going on but I guess that is hasn't hit me yet, I am just worried that when it does I will be so upset that it may effect the baby. Also any other moms had to deal with telling young children about someone passign away that is close to them? I have kinda decided not to take them to the funeral cause I think that they are too young but what are ya'lls ideas. Thanks in advanced and sorry that this is so long.
Kathy
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  #2  
January 24th, 2010, 03:41 PM
Amanda C's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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First off ((HUGS)). You should definitely mention it to your OB and just see what they say. I attended the funeral of my aunt and cousin and my dad all while preggo. I will say though that it made me very nervous and anxious.
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  #3  
January 24th, 2010, 04:39 PM
QueenCrafty's Avatar Courtney
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My grandmother died while I was pregnant with Lily and I attended her funeral. She was cremated so I did not see her body, but it certainly was tough dealing with those emotions. I am so sorry you have to be dealing with this! I wish I had advice on how to tell your children.
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  #4  
January 24th, 2010, 04:39 PM
fibigrey's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I am SO sorry to hear about this <3 *HUGS*.

I agree with the above comment, and would definitly talk to your OB...There may be a medicine that they can prescribe that is safe for you to take to help with anxiety.

I went to a funeral in November, and I really do not like seeing dead bodies since the death of my brother in 2001, but I just didn't go near it, and handled it well.. My son, who is 5 on the other hand, really did not understand at all what was going on... He didn't know the person who passed very well, but he thought honestly that the guy was sleeping... I don't know how he would've reacted if it were one of his grandpa's... With the funeral, do what you think is best... Its a part of life, but it might also make it harder for you to deal with your grief, if you're trying to console them and help them understand.

Do talk to your OB, and I sincerely hope that they can help you.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. *HUGS*
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  #5  
January 24th, 2010, 05:02 PM
krissy1989's Avatar is loving her two boys!
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I'm so sorry that you are going through this. (((HUGS))) I personally don't like attending funerals, as they shake me up pretty bad. But, for your kids, I remember going to my great-grandma's funeral when I was 5. I understood that death meant that I would never see her again, and it made me very sad. But it wasn't something which traumatized me, and I understood it as a natural part of life. It helped that she was old, I think. Really, it all comes down to how you feel your kids' personalities will handle it, and what you tell them. I don't recommend lying to them about death, and telling them that the person is just asleep. I've heard that this can make some kids fear sleep itself. But I have never been a parent, so my advice really isn't anything great, unfortunately... Tell them what you are comfortable telling them, as long as they understand that it's final, and that he's not coming back. I'm sorry I can't be of more help...
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  #6  
January 24th, 2010, 05:12 PM
Bosley's Avatar Hillary
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Kathy, I am so sorry that you are going through this. I lost my dad less than two years ago and we were also very, very close. I would definitely talk to your OB - funerals of people we love are scary and so stressful because they are a single event that we start to fixate on - "can I get through this, can I get through this". But unfortunately the truth is that you need the support of those around you for a long time afterwards. So don't be afraid to approach anyone and everyone who can provide that support, starting with your OB who will look after you from a medical perspective and make sure you and your baby are ok throughout this grieving process.

As for viewing the body, my personal opinion is that there isn't one answer that applies to everyone, pregnant or not. I would just see how you are feeling and let your emotions decide on that day whether you want to see him or not. I was so scared to see my dad's body at the funeral. My dad had suddenly became severely ill out of the blue in February and by the time he died in early April he was a shell of himself. But as bizarre as this sounds, somehow the funeral parlor did such a good job that when I braved myself to have a look, my dad looked more like the full-faced, healthy, handsome guy I remembered than he had when he was in the hospital. It was such a blessing to have that final image in my mind rather than the one from the weeks leading up to the funeral.

Please keep us posted on how you are doing.
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  #7  
January 24th, 2010, 06:03 PM
Shantastic27's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Hi Kathy, I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. I think that you should definitely keep your OB informed about what is happening. As far as the funeral and your children go, I think it's up to you and your husband to decide. Here's what I would do if I were in a similar situation. I would probably talk with my kids and explain things to them in a way that they could understand (all children are different and at different levels of this). I think in our society we fear death so much that it becomes something unnatural and to be avoided at all costs, and I really want my children to understand that death is a natural part of life, not something they should be frightened by. I might explain to them what happened and insert any religious beliefs you hold. I would let them know that I'm going to be sad, and I'll be crying but that it's not their fault. I also might tell them that they can help me feel better by giving me hugs and kisses. After explaining the process of the funeral and that the body would be there, I might ask how they feel about going.

Like I said before, this is likely how I would handle the situation (I'm more open to exposure to death because I was a hospice social worker and so I've seen a lot of death, and helped other families through it) but ultimately, it's up to you and your partner what you think is best for your children. Another thing to consider is if you want the funeral to be an experience for your grief, where you don't necessarily have to worry about your kids. In that instance, you may find that it's not to your benefit to have them there with you. Whatever you decide will be the right decision, and please keep us posted on you.
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  #8  
January 24th, 2010, 07:17 PM
Number3ontheway's Avatar Regular
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Thanks ladies the advice so far has been really helpful. I have another question for you all, do you think I should talk to them about what is going to happen so that they are prepared, or should I wait until it actually happens? If I am askign too many questions just say so and I'll shut up, I think I am just stressing myself out over analyzing everything and you ladies always seem to have the best advice.
Thanks again
Kathy
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  #9  
January 24th, 2010, 07:36 PM
krissy1989's Avatar is loving her two boys!
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I don't think you're asking too many questions.

It's really up to you, and what you're comfortable with. If you think that your kids will fare better having some form of mental preparation, then maybe you could sit them down and explain to them that their grandpa is sick. Then, when his death occurs, maybe they would feel like it had been impending, rather than sudden and unexpected. I think that the suddenness of death is often what affects people the worst, rather than knowing ahead of time that it is bound to happen, and being able to prepare oneself some. But, again, it's up to what you're comfortable with.

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  #10  
January 24th, 2010, 08:04 PM
palmetto_moon's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. What a tough thing to go through! You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
As for the funeral- I think its a personal preference really. I don't think seeing a dead body will harm your baby though I'm sure it would be upsetting to you as it is your dad. However, I think if it were me....I would want to go and be there for my Dad. I'd want to honor him by being at his funeral, even though it would be really hard. You have to do what is right for YOU. There really isn't a right or wrong to this type of thing.
As for your children- I think that maybe preparing them as best as you can with out too much info that is beyond their years would be a good route. Maybe tell them that Grandad is getting ready to go to Heaven (if this is in line with your personal beliefs) and that he won't be needing his body anymore, so you won't be able to see him with your eyes, but that his spirit will be with you and you will still be able to think about Grandpa and remember him). Not certain if I would take them to see him before he passes as he is likely in a state that would be unrecognizable to them anyhow and it may be better for them to recall him the way they have been used to.
You have lots of decisions to make and none of them are easy. I am thinking of you.
hugs,
angela
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  #11  
January 25th, 2010, 02:16 AM
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Im sorry i dont have any advise for you but i just read your story and wanted to give you a great big I am so sorry you are having to go through this not long before you have baby, must be awfull for you and by what you are saying your all so close, what a sad time it is going to be for you (and is now)
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  #12  
January 25th, 2010, 05:59 AM
LisaBrown's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I am very sorry to hear about everything that is going on. It obviously is a difficult situation, but especially when pregnant. I have lost both my dad and stepdad to cancer, so I understand how difficult this must be. I just wanted to say that I think you are handling this in the best way possible and you seem to be preparing yourself and your boys to the best of your ability and I hope it helps ease some of the anxiety, etc. You seem like a very strong woman and mom, and I'm sure you will get through this with the help of your friends and family, even though it will surely be difficult.

Big, big and I will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. I hope your OB can make some good suggestions as to the best way to deal with your grief through your pregnancy. And if you ever need to vent or cry, know that we are all here for you!
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  #13  
January 25th, 2010, 10:55 AM
*Ashley*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Tough question. First of all, I am very sorry to hear about your father. We recently had a close member of our family (DH's uncle) die. Will you and your children get to see him before he dies? That might decided whether or not they will be at the funeral. I have been to 3 open casket funerals in my life time. The first was one of my grandmothers and I was very little so I don't remember much of anything other than being there. The second was 8 years ago when a very good friend on ours died in a car wreck. I swore after that I would never go to another open casket again or at least to the viewing. Seeing her in the casket is not how I want to remember her but that it the first visual I get in my mind when I think about her. Then, this July, DH's uncle (and probably my closest uncle for the last 10 years) died in a pretty awful situation. Addison, obviously, had no idea. Camille was definitely impacted but not to the degree of his actual grandchildren. It's funny how kids react to these things. I thought that Camille, who was a whopping 5 years old when it happened, wouldn't understand but she completely understood that he died and was in heaven and wouldn't see him again until she is in heaven. Of course she doesn't understand the how's and why's of it all, neither do we. My point is, you know your children better than anybody else. If they get to see him and prepare for it, their reactions might be different if you wait to tell them if they don't get to see him, KWIM? I am not sure now what my parents did when my grandmother died. I was five. I knew she died but I don't really remember if I knew she was going to. I chose not to take the girls to DH's Uncle's funeral. His grandkids, one who is a year younger, did go. She understood what was going to happen and did ok. It also depends on if you are going to see him before they do after he is gone. Your reaction might have a bigger impact on them than anything. The family all went to the viewing the day or two before the actual funeral so we had some time to deal with out emotions. Did I cry my eyes out at the funeral? Absolutely, but I would have been much worse had we not had that time before. I don't regret seeing him dead. If gave me some closure that he was actually at peace and gone.

Only you know your kids. These are maybe just some suggestions. You might not even know what you will do to the very last moment. Kids are very resilient (cliché, I know) but they will react as well as can be expected if you are in control of the information and situation. By that I mean, as long as you consider what and how your are telling them, and not just blurting it out or worse, somebody else telling them, they will be ok. As far as the funeral, my personal decision would be made depending on if they got to see him before he died, if they went to the viewing, etc, like I stated above. I chose not to take Camille to the funeral or the viewing. I honestly don't think it would have made her feel any better about the situation, so I chose not to put her through it.

Do, however, be prepared for weird questions. They are kids and process things completely differently so even the little details that might seem strange to you need to be worked out in their thought process. I kept things as simple as possible with Camille when I told her. The details wouldn't have helped much and would have only muddied the waters. She asked a lot of questions. Eventually she got it.

Hopefully this helps some. Good luck in your decisions. They are very hard ones to make. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
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  #14  
January 25th, 2010, 05:46 PM
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Hi, I don't post often but am constantly reading up on threads and wanted to add some hopefully helpful advice.

First of all I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. I couldn't imagine losing any parents while being pregnant, let alone one that I am close to.

My advice mainly is in regards to your kids. Now this is mine and DH's first so I don't want to act like I know from direct experience but I wanted to tell you about my cousin when he lost his father. He was about 5 or 6 somewhere in there and very close with his dad when he lost him in a car accident, so very sudden. I wanted to tell you about it in case you were even thinking about the "grandpa is sleeping" route in explaining to your kids. When my cousin lost his dad he became suicidal. Not in the way that he became very depressed, but no one explained to him the situation well enough, and in his mind if he were to "die" he could see his Dad but be able to come back when he was done visiting. Now I don't know your kids or their personalities and how you will go about explaining it to them, but I always feel the want to tell his story when I hear about a situation like this, because my aunt was definitely thrown off by it.

As for bringing them to the funeral honestly I'd say go with what is easier for you to cope. If you feel like they might do better being there then maybe bring them to the viewing and have them stay home for the funeral. Considering their age, I would say that while they are likely to understand, I'm not sure it is necessary for closure for them, and it may be easier on you dealing with it without trying to handle them there as well.

If it were me I'd also mention it to my doctor. I know (for me anyway) if I were in a situation that made me really upset I'd get worse over worrying about how upset I am and it would just snowball if you know what I mean. Even if your doctor can't prescribe you anything I'm sure they could at least give you some coping advice or calm your fears about how much the baby would be affected.

Well I have rambled on long enough, I hope I made sense in this and I will be sending good thoughts your way.
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