Sunday, June 3, 2012

Explaining (or not) the death of a loved one.....

So, my husband's grandmother passed away yesterday, after suffering a severe stroke Monday PM/Tuesday AM. (the neurosurgeon said 2 "events"). Yes, just two short days after her 79th birthday. Her and Pawpaw have been married for 60years, come July 5th. We will all miss her fiesty and stubborn ways, her cantankerous mannerisms and her love of the North Carolina Tarheels. She really was the sweetest woman, but boy oh boy was she set in her ways. We've giggled and had fits of laughter over remembering some of her sayings and just how she would say things, over the past few days. It's nice to be able to laugh and share happy memories in such a sad time. Especially when it happened all so suddenly. She'd just received a clean bill of health from her doctor just a week or so ago. For that matter, she'd been at our cookout on Monday evening for Memorial Day... though we knew something was up, since she wasn't herself.


We've explained it to Holden, our non-spectrum kiddo, and he seems "fine". He's asked a few questions, but hasn't seemed overly sad, just matter of fact that it was her time, she didn't suffer and well, we always thought Pawpaw would go first (Pawpaw's older). He didn't want to see her in the hospital (which we agreed with and respected) and has said he really isn't sure if he wants to go to the funeral. We'll see how (or if) his feelings change on this over the next couple of days.

In contrast, we haven't explained anything to Ashton yet, though what he overhears and understands is beyond what he shares with us. I'm sure he knows "something" is up. We went over to Granny & Pawpaw's house yesterday and she's not there. But then again, a lot of people *were* there and I don't think he processed that she wasn't. We think it will hit him (figuratively) when we go over there once things have settled down and he realizes she's not there. This is just how we've decided to deal with it, for now anyways.

It might not actually BE the right way.... but in these circumstances, I'm not sure there is a right or wrong way to deal with these things. For now, I think this is the right way. I did do some searching online for social stories talking about death, etc. They look to be a good starting point. The links for them are below. I may also go to the library and see if there are any "young" children's books that discuss death and what happens, etc.

The links I found helpful are:
About Death social story

Story tailored to a child's interest explaining death

What is death?

Hug the ones you love, tell them that you love them ..... you may never know when your (or their) last day is...... We love you Granny and miss you very very much and know that you're flying free from pain up in heaven.... <3