My Dad is dying.

Whatever you like, really, knock yourself out... I'm not the boss of you.

My Dad is dying.

Postby supermansmum » 02 Mar 2012, 18:27

Thanks for reading this given that the subject tells you its not a happy one.

Basically my Dad had a fall yesterday and is now in hospital - he has bleeding on the brain and along with other complications and his 85 years they have said to expect the worse.

My question is how and what do i say to my very clever and clued in 3 year old - both now, if i need to, and when his granddad goes? I kept meaning to look this up and read books and now the day has come and i am kicking myself for not begin prepared.

Everything that i think of seems wrong - we are not religious so i don't want to talk about heaven etc but also i don't want him to be scared of hospitals or doctors or that other old people will leave him too.

Please help - i have avoided questions thus far but my mum stayed here last night and he was asking where Granddad was and i suspect i will be at the hospital all weekend so we need to talk about it.

He has a fantastic relationship with his Granddad and i know its gonna find it hard not to see him again.

Thank you
Last edited by supermansmum on 02 Mar 2012, 18:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My Dad is dying.

Postby Violet_Cue » 02 Mar 2012, 18:30

Oh ((((supermansmum)))) I don't have any real advice on what to tell you... but your family are in my thoughts. It's a hard time...
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Re: My Dad is dying.

Postby Sandytoes » 02 Mar 2012, 18:32

I'm so sorry, I have no idea, but didn't want to read and run.

((((supermansmum and the supermen))))

Actually, one thing I came across in a book that I thought might be useful one day when talking about death was to put an icecube in a bowl of water and watch it melt. Where did the icecube go? It didn't go anywhere, it's still there "with us" somehow, but not at all in the same way. I wonder if you could use that idea at all, after the event?
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Re: My Dad is dying.

Postby Stormwind » 02 Mar 2012, 18:34


I'm so sorry about your dad. i dread the day this happens to us :(

We've always talked abouthow, when we are very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, old or very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, sick, or get very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, hurt that our bodies get too 'broken' and they don't work anymore so we die (note the number of 'very's to show how unlikely it is. We've related it to toys getting broken and just not working anymore. At this point, we've just left it at that.

I will not say 'that they have gone to sleep' - I don't want the dcs to become scared of sleeping. I am not religious, but I don't like going to talk about going to heaven (ie a specific place) as I think children can be come upset that someone they love has gone away and they don't 'want' to see them anymore/ can't go to visit. Sorry, I can't explain this better. But I realise that might offend peopl, so if I have, I apologise.

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Re: My Dad is dying.

Postby twilightfan » 02 Mar 2012, 18:39


Sorry you are going through this :( & I have no words of advice, but I think Sandytoes and Stormwind have put it well.
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Re: My Dad is dying.

Postby RedRum » 02 Mar 2012, 18:43

(((((((((()))))))))) I'm so sorry you and you're family are going through this. I hope your dad's not suffering too much. Xx

When my dad died I explained to Ruby that his body was very very sick, and that the doctors couldn't make it better any more and that he had died. I'm not religious either, so I told her that he didn't need his body any more do we had buried it in the ground so that it could become part of the earth and the trees and the flowers, and that the bit of baba that wasn't his body was in our hearts and with us all the time. I didn't talk about heaven, but I did talk about carrying him with us in our hearts forever.

I'm so sorry for you hon. I miss my dad so much,it's an awful thing to have to go through xx
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Re: My Dad is dying.

Postby Fozza » 02 Mar 2012, 18:46

I don't think you can really prepare for this as you have to be led by him and the questions he asks.
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Re: My Dad is dying.

Postby Louisianablue2000 » 02 Mar 2012, 18:46

Dad died about 18 months ago after a long illness. We told DD1 (who was 33 months at the time) that Grandad was very ill and very old and then he died. It helped(?) that some of his symptoms were very visible and he declined quickly in the two weeks we were there before he died so she could see in a timescale that a small child could cope with that he was getting worse.

We have been very matter of fact about it so she knows e.g. he is buried in the ground. Mum planted daffs on his grave in the autumn (Dad loved daffs and planted them all along the road verges on the farm) and we have told DD1 that the worms will eat Grandad and turn him into earth and then he'll become daffodils and we've even talked about what flowers we would like to be when we died and she liked that idea. Dad was also an athiest and as a farmer very comfortable with the circle of life idea so he would have liked that as well.

For us the important thing was that she understood about other people's grief. Michael Rosen did a book after his son died called 'The Sad Book' which is very good. There have been threads on here about dealing with death from an athiest viewpoint and there are a few book recommendations which I can't remember off the top of my head but have a search and you'll find them.

We talk about Dad as much as possible and say if she does things that are like him. She spoke about it a lot in the first year but seems to have processed it enough for herself now. She knows he can't come back and we are sad.
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Re: My Dad is dying.

Postby skip » 02 Mar 2012, 18:59

I'm so sorry. ((((supermansmama)))) You've had a lot of good advice so I'll just add more hugs and hope that your dad doesn't suffer any more.
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Re: My Dad is dying.

Postby Morlyte » 02 Mar 2012, 19:08

Firstly, I'm so sorry for what you are going through. x

We have gone through a number of losses last year and had to be totally factual. I said that sometimes our bodies can get too poorly and they stop working. We are not religious either and found it easier to say that although we won't ever be able to cuddle them again, we have memories and photos and we will never forget who they are. Joe had questions for a long time afterwards and I've had to explain a few times but gradually he seems to understand more.
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Re: My Dad is dying.

Postby Rahgamuffin » 02 Mar 2012, 19:10

Nothing I can add, just my support for you & your family during this. You know where we are xx
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Re: My Dad is dying.

Postby shye » 02 Mar 2012, 19:16

I'm so sorry.
Kids do pick up on a lot, so he will ask questions. I agree with everyone else in that talking about it factually is best.
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Re: My Dad is dying.

Postby Noir » 02 Mar 2012, 19:21

The others have given good advice. I think not explaining it in terms of going to sleep is very important as as Stormwind said it can cause problems when they are scared to sleep themselves.
If it's appropriate for him to go and see his Grandpa then don't discount it, but that is up to you and your family and depends on your dad's state. There will be books in the library that help to explain death as part of the circle of life if you can get to a library. Try to keep him informed that he's not well, more poorly than healthy young people get. He will probably ask inappropriate questions and it is ok to say you don't know how to answer because no one alive knows what it's like to die. But assure him that you will still be there for a very long time.
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Re: My Dad is dying.

Postby KateGladTidings » 02 Mar 2012, 19:29

No advice but (((((((supermansmum)))))))
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Re: My Dad is dying.

Postby issi » 02 Mar 2012, 19:33

Lots of hugs from me too. I hope the advice above helps. I love the turning into flowers idea.
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