My husband recently passed away and my child is having a difficult time with it. She’s 5 and always asks me when her daddy is coming home. Any advice on how to handle this and help them to move on?
Lost Without Him
Thank you so much for taking the time to write in, I really appreciate it—especially in this difficult time. I’m sorry to hear about your husband passing away, a death of any kind is never easy to handle. Unfortunately, it does happen though and we have to learn to cope when the time comes. For children, it’s not always easy for them to understand what is going on—especially depending on their age. At 5, your daughter may have a vague idea of what is going on, hence why she continuously asks when her father is coming home. I have a few ideas that may be able to help.
Take Care of Yourself
I know this may sound odd for advice when it comes to your child, but you have to remember to take care of yourself. It is more important than you may realize to take the time to grieve and process everything that’s happened. If there are other people that you can reach out to, then reach out to them. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind offering you, at the least, emotional support.
You need to take care of yourself because if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of your child or you’ll have a difficult time doing so. You probably feel as though the weight of the world is on your shoulders and some days it’s just better for you to take some time to yourself and regroup. Don’t forget about YOU. Yes, your child is beyond important, but you’re also important, you have to remember that.
If it appears as though your child doesn’t understand the situation fully, try talking to her. Explain that daddy went away to a better place where he’s looking down on the both of you and that he’ll always be there for her. Death is not an easy concept to understand, not even as you get older, in my opinion. It may take her some time to fully understand that her daddy isn’t coming home, but make yourself available to have a conversation with your daughter and be there to comfort her when she comes to that realization. Spend one-on-one time with her and remind her that she still has people around her that really love and care about her.
No matter how old you are, when there is a death, it takes time to mourn. When she needs it, give her the space she wants, but be ready to be there for you when she needs you to be. Give it time, not only for your daughter, but also for yourself. Things will be kind of weird at first and it may seem as the world is coming to an end, but it’s not. You both still have each other, which is very important. It just takes time.
I find that after someone passes away people are often afraid to remember that person. When my family’s close friend passed away, it was very difficult to have conversations about her or to think about her. At first, whenever I did, I cried, but as time went on, remembering her made it easier, in a way. It’s going to hurt, I’m not going to lie, but it helps you to move on, it really does. Remember the good times with your daughter, reminisce with her.
Another idea, because she’s so young, is to make a scrapbook of your husband for her so that she can remember him. If you have videotaping of him or a recording, let her watch or listen to it every now and then. One thing that I often hear people say is that they start to forget their loved ones—especially if they were young when they lost them. Make sure that she has something that she can use to hold onto his memory. It will be very special to her.
One thing you have to remember to do is to be happy. Your husband, I’m sure, doesn’t want you to be unhappy and doesn’t want your daughter to be unhappy. It’s tough to be happy when someone you love and care about is no longer around, but you should be happy in their honor. Go out and do something fun with your daughter, let yourself smile and laugh. Being happy is the most important thing of all for the both of you. So give yourself permission to be happy.
Death is not easy to cope with for anyone. Try to stay positive and remember the person you have lost. I think that’s something they would want, I really do. If you’re having a difficult time adjusting and feel at an utter loss, I would suggest seeing a professional. The suggestion of talking to someone who didn’t know the person who passed may sound odd, but honestly, they really do care and want to help you. If all else fails, reach out and they will be ready and willing.
Until Next Time.
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What are tips you have for mourning and moving on?
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Posted on September 18, 2013 by Felicia