Handling death

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Handling death
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 9:14am
I was thinking about putting this on QOTW but

I thought I'd rather put it up here.

How does your child handle death (pets, humans).

So far Tim hasn't had to deal with a human death,

but had a kitten once that died.

I don't think our he knows that death is permanent.

It's not like a cartoon where you die and come

back to life in a few minutes.

When his kitten died he asked things like. When's he

going to be ok. Will he be a skeleton? Will he

come out of the ground after we bury him.. etc.

My daughters grandpa passed away Tuesday and we went to

visit the family yesterday (Tim was in school). and when

my daughter was telling him (Tim) things it brought up more of the

similar questions from Tim. Even if you explain it to him, he

forgets the explanation and always asks the same thing.

Even asks things like "Were his eyeballs falling out, was he

bloody?" He's 12 and I don't think he knows what death is, no matter

how much I try to tell him. (even telling him the

spiritual part of it).

Have any of your children had to deal with death yet?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cl_txlynn
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 12:33pm
Yes and they both dealt with it in very different ways. A great aunt died last year. The kids had only visited once but it was only a couple months before her death. She lived a few hours away, but the kids heard about her often from their grandma. DH is from a close italian family (at least his mom is) and it was decided all the boys should go to the funeral with thier whole family. Inlaws even offered to pay for a hotel for all of us for the night. I wasn't thrilled about it, but was overruled.

Mike can't handle any separation, change, etc and was traumatized as I knew he would be. We go to a church that is still under construction and mass is in a parish center, so it looks different than a regular church. About 6 months after the funeral we went to a defferent church which reminded Mike of the funeral. He was crying in mass becuase he missed aunt Molly. He is the same way about the cat and house we left 4 years ago. He can't handle the going away and change.

Cait on the other hand couldn't have cared less. To her it was a great time going up and staying in the hotel with the family. She kept wanting to play with her cousins even when innapropriate. Although she didn't get graphic, she would ask, is she not coming back, etc but had no remorse and would even be innapropriately silly. She gets that when you die you go to heaven, but really doesn't seem to care about the person being gone. To her they just don't exist anymore. No biggy. I don't know if she doesn't get death, just isn't attached enough or have the understanding of peoples feelings to care, or maybe she just has a better understanding than everyone. She figures she is going to heaven and so are they so what is the big deal? She has even asked if she can get a new puppy when her favorite dog dies. Said she wouldn't be sad if the dog died.

Either way, it certainly was different than the way my 5 y.o. reacted to the death. The younger boy cousins were more like Cait but they were only 4 and 3 at the time. She was 8.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cl_txlynn
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 6:38pm
We've had to deal with our fair share of death. We have a pretty big family so there's no getting around the kids being exposed to it. We've had aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends die. The kids have all taken those pretty well on the basis that (from their point of view) 'they were old and it was time'. But we've had other deaths that have hit a little closer to home with them, specifically a young cousin and a sister.

The cousin was my BLIs only son. Curt has two step kids but Marcus was his only biological child. Marc died at 4yo of cancer (brain tumor). Jade didn't understand what was going on, and maybe that was for the best. She didn't have to deal with it. But Ayla was in a tail spin for 2 mo over it. She grasped right away that death is perminant but she didn't understand that she couldn't go visit Marc in Heaven (she wanted to bring him his favorite blanket....he forgot to take it with him). DH had a hard time with Marc's passing too. Not because he couldn't cope with the loss of his nephew but because he couldn't "fix-it-make-it-better" for his brother.

The other death was even closer to home. When Jade was 4 we started trying to have another child and I went on Depo Provera for 6 mo to boost my fertility (when you stop taking it you are supposed to be more fertile than you were before). Well, we got a bad batch and I ended up getting pregnant while on it. A lot of women did. And like 85% of the other women who were given doeses from that batch I went into labor in the 28th week. The doctors did everything they could to stop the labor and maintain the pregnancey (including tieing off my cervix with medical cord) but to no avail. Arianna was born a week after I went into labor and died 11 minutes after she was born. Jade took it the worst. She had just grasped the concept that Mom was going to have another baby and when I came home from the hospital without one she was devistated. She actually though we were mad at her and had given the baby away to punish her for something. After the funeral she sat on Arianna's grave and refussed to move. When asked what she was doing she said she was wasiting for her baby sister to wake up. She was appaulled at how we were just going to leave her (Arianna) there and abandon her.

DH's answer to dealing with Arianna's death was to start a class action siut against the makers of the drug. And while he was upset about loosing his daughter, he was more upset about all the pain I had endured and everything I had been put through. He saw it kinda like having to go through some great trial with the promise of a reward only to find out the reward was broken. To him it was like a major case of finding that your Crackerjacks didn't have a prize at the bottom of the box. He hates Crackerjacks but used to get them all the time just to get the prize, and not wanting to be wasteful he always ate the dreaded stuff (of course Curt loves Crackerjacks and Craig could have just given them to him....but he didn't realize that until he was 30). After 3 years we won the class action and the families got 180k each. And of course, Dh didn't understand why the shiny new car he bought me didn't "fix-it-make-it-better". sigh.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cl_txlynn
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 8:54pm
I'm sorry for your loss.

I was on depo provera

also at one time. It made me gain weight so fast and I

was just very unhealthy with it. I had heard about a class

action lawsuit but I never got in on it.

Before the depo I had the arm implant method and

had to have them out at about a year. I joined the

class action against it though and only got 500 dollars

The lawyer took 900. I was afraid to try the depo

lawsuit. Do they still make Depo provera? I haven't heard

of anyone getting it lately so I don't know.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cl_txlynn
Fri, 05-23-2003 - 7:36am
Yes, the still make Depo Provera. But they changed the batch screening process and the formula. Now it's actually called 'Depo Provera D', and is a lot less likely to cause sudden health problems and weight gain.

I think the reason why the planifs in our class action got so much money was because our attorney was one of the victims. She handled all of the paperwork and her assistants did a lot of vollunteer time on the case. Also there were only 34 of us suing for the 80 mil. that broke down roughly into just under 250k each. We each paid the attorney 7k and after the gov got their taxes it turned out to be 180k. Actually, some of the other plantifs weren't too good at doing taxes and got less than that. We have an accountant on retainer and he was great about helping us keep as much of it as we could. To be honest, I thought those kinds of settlements were tax exempt, but I was wrong.