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  1. #1
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    Default Telling 8yo DD father she never knew died

    Just looking for any advice on my complicated situation. I found out last night that my DD father died from complications of his chronic health condition from his sister and mum. He was only 30.

    He was physically, emotionally and mentally abusive to me in our 12month relationship, so it really hasn't affected me apart from disbelief and a sense of freedom that I don't have to worry that I will run into him again.

    However, I need to inform my 8yo DD. Her father last saw her at 6wks old so she has no memory of him at all. She calls her step-father who has raised her since she was 1yo "dad" and he is in every sense of the word. But I have always let her know she has a biological father as well, particularly as she has inherited his chronic health conditions. So she will understand who I am speaking about when I tell her.

    I am thinking of asked her if she would like to attend the funeral for her own personal closure on the person she never met. She also sees a psychologist and I will be addressing this with them although her next appointment isn't for another month. I don't think I should tell her "how" he died as it might scare/worry her as she has the same health condition.

    I'm am super concerned on how to address this with my sensitive child....

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    Honestly I'm not sure how I would handle that.. my dd and ds also don't remember their biological father, and if he died, at such a young age I'm not sure I'd want to take them to the funeral and cause unnecessary confusion and upset before they are mentally mature enough to deal with it .. but then you don't want any possible anger or resentment from not being told when they find out once they're older either. that's a tough one. Sorry not really any helpful advice here but I hope all goes well.

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    Wow, hard one. You def need to tell her, but the hardest bit would be whether to tell her the cause of death given she has it too (I'm guessing CF or something similar?). I would tell her he has passed but only tell her how when and if she asks, which she no doubt will. If you lie, she will find out down the track and however well intended your reasons, she'll resent you.

    As to the funeral, I would probably take her, but not for him but her. Does she have ongoing contact his his side? If not, this may be a chance for them to meet her and forge those bonds, even though it's a horrible situation.

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    That sounds tough, and only it know what's best for YOUR family.

    Personally, I'd tell her and offer to take her to the funeral. I definitely resented not being taken to funerals as a kid, I think it's important for closure if the child wants to go.

    As for telling her how/why, I'd only answer if she asked, and keep it as basic as possible. If she asked, I'd say he was sick and try to distract her. Minimal info to answer the question, if possible.

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    Are you able to call her psychologist and ask them for advice? If you tell the receptionist they may be able to organise an emergency phone call/consult for you before the funeral to help with the decision.

    Good luck, such a difficult situation.

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    I think you have to allow her the choice of going to the funeral. Bare in mind, however that although you may keep the details of his death to a minimum, there may be discussion during the funeral of his illness or even the mention of the disease for donations etc.
    Best of luck.

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    it all depends on the child.

    My daughter is super anxious about stuff like that - so I would not have told her at 8 yrs old. If she had never seen him anyway, I wouldnt have said anything until she was older ...

    but different kids are different and can handle different things.

    super hard

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    Quote Originally Posted by MissMuppet View Post
    Are you able to call her psychologist and ask them for advice? If you tell the receptionist they may be able to organise an emergency phone call/consult for you before the funeral to help with the decision.

    Good luck, such a difficult situation.
    I'm with this, especially if she has inherited his illnesses and knows it. Little brains could think she might die too as she also has what he had.

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    Thank you all for you're responses. It helped me make my decision to tell her this evening. She was aware of who he was and she has met her grandparents and aunt on several occasions but not her father. She reacted as I predicted - a few tears as she is a sensitive soul as she put it it makes her sad to hear anyone has died. She did ask about attending the funeral before I mentioned it and I told her I would support her decision whatever she would like to do. She thought she would like to go so will be finding out details soon. She did ask how he died and I just told her all that he was sick. I figure it's not a lie I'm just not elaborating at this point in time. I will mention my concerns about her knowing the details of his cause of death to his family and ask that they don't mention it should we attend the funeral.

    They both have type 1 diabetes - his was uncared for and unmanaged. So she is not likely to die young as he did if she continues to care for herself correctly. But I don't want her to worry or overthinking either.

    I couldn't get in touch with her psych today but will call again tomorrow to see what support they can offer. I also told DD that she will be seeing them soon so in addition to myself and DP that will be someone else she can speak to should she have any questions or concerns.

    I just hope that I am doing the right thing by her so minimise the anger/regret she may feel later in life for not having met him (although I do believe it's for the best as he was really a horrible person).

  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mumma2lilb For This Useful Post:

    babyno1onboard  (06-04-2017),MissMuppet  (08-04-2017)

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