There is a tumor on her colon. They did surgery yesterday to remove it, and couldn't. It was too big and had grown into the liver and other places. The surgeon wasn't too optimistic on chemo.
She is a great Grandma. She loves the kids, and they love her. They've visited her in the hospital, and know the surgery was yesterday. It ended up happening later in the evening. Dd was still awake when I got home, so she knows a little. Ds was asleep.
How do you tell young kids that their Grandma is dying? We don't know the full details yet, but it doesn't sound good.
My Dad passed away unexpectedly less than 17 months ago. He was 73.
Any help is appreciated. Prays and good thoughts are also welcome.
The people you do your life with shape the life you live
I'm so sorry to hear about your mom and the unexpected passing of your father.
I don't have any personal experience with this from a parent's perspective. However, my grandfather had cancer and passed away when I was six and I remember it very well. It was a really sad time, but I never felt scared and I think that was because my parents were very honest with me about what was happening. I knew he was very sick, and that he was going to die soon. I could relate to death a little because of a family pet's death, so I knew what that meant. My parents never pretended that things were going to be okay, and so I was prepared - although heartbroken - when he died. It was really fast, he passed away within a few months of being diagnosed.
So while I don't remember the words my parents used or how they sat down and told me, I was capable of understanding and handling the truth and it made the experience easier. I also appreciate that I knew he was dying because I do remember those last visits with him very clearly and I knew that they were important - even at six.
I'm sorry I don't have much advice, just the perspective of being a child myself and knowing that I have always appreciated how open my parents were about it.
[This message edited by lost_in_toronto at 8:01 AM, February 13th (Thursday)]
I always believe that honesty is the best policy with kids. I guess gentle, and careful honesty. I don't know that there is any other way to say it than to be direct and to comfort them and tell them as much as they can understand.
Maybe once you have the details and some time estimates?
Sending strength for this difficult time. I wish there was something concrete I could do to help you all
My neices & nephew were 4 & 5 when their dad died in a car accident. Telling them was the hardest thing any of us had to face.
Honest, age appropriate language. Your kids are a little older than they were, so their understanding will be better. These kids lost a cat just 6 months before their dad died. The cat got hit by a car. We used that analogy to help them understand the permanence of death.
My grandfather died when my dd was 3.5. She was very close to him and she was the sunshine of his life. I let her take the lead on what she wanted/needed. My ds was 5.5 and he didn't want anything to do with calling hours, saying goodbye or anything. My dd on the other hand needed to say good bye. So we took her to the funeral home, she kissed him, asked questions like "Will this box be locked?" and let her lead the convo along with the answers she needed.
Kind, gentle loving messages about death are what the kids needs.
Hugs to you all.
You and BR are such wonderful, caring people. I know you will find a way to gently tell them. Maybe remind them that it's ok for them to cry and be mad. It's ok for mom and dad to cry, too. Maybe let them know that if they want to tell grandma how they feel and that she is loved, they can. Sending strength and hugs.
I'm so sorry
When my mom and dad sat my sister and myself down to tell us our dad had congestive heart failure, we were pretty young...6 & 8. I remember being very scared and nervous but my parents were calm and honest and gentle with their news.
I know you have a really solid bond with your kids so I think between you and BR approaching this as a family it will help them accept the news a little easier.
Just go slow and be honest.
Our thoughts are with you during such a difficult and delicate time.
My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.
I'm so sorry to hear this.
I don't experience with this as far as a parent, but my aunt was like a second mother to me and my kids were close to her.
When she was in the hospital and we knew it wasn't looking good I was honest with my kids.
I told them "Auntie is sick. She has a non-cancerous tumor that was removed, but now there's other issues making her sick. The doctors said there isn't anything they can do at this point." Then I listened to the kids and answered any questions they had. When they asked if she was going to die I said "Yes. It looks like she may."
How is your mom in the hospital? Meaning is she awake? Can she communicate? It may be a good idea to have your kids spend as much time as they can with her now. Bring in books and coloring pages etc... so they can do as much as they can with her now. Just an idea.
I just lost my dad so as I am typing this I am totally crying. Had I known I had days till my dad would die, we would had all spent time with him and talked alot. but he was killed.
get every chance you can to spend with her now. she probably has a month.
(((((wifehad5 and br)))))
Honest sharing of what is happening and may happen soon allows you all to grieve openly and together.
My deepest sympathies on the back to back blows.
Do they understand what cancer is? Do they understand that some people recover from it, but others do not?
It may be a series of conversations is needed. Starting with the knowledge that grandma has cancer. That her cancer isn't operable. That medicines don't cure every cancer, and won't cure grandma's. Let them adjust to the new information and ask any questions they like, but follow their lead as far as what they're ready to hear and what they can process at any given point.
Holding all of you in my thoughts.
“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”
― Pema Chödrön
I'm so sorry you have to face this. No advice, but my thoughts and best wishes are with you all.
lots of prayers. I am so sorry!
I remember having the talk with my kids (4 and 5) when it looked as if my FIL would pass away from complications of diabetes. My then husband and I explained that when people get old, you can see that they get wrinkles and white hair and they maybe move more slowly and sometimes, like grandpa, they get very sick and have to be in the hospital. We explained that sometimes when this happens, people die, which means they go away forever. We were careful not to equate death with going to sleep because the kids had to go to sleep every night.
It's questionable how much kids that age really understand about the concept of death. Your children are older and should be able to grasp it, no problem. Tell them what you think is age-appropriate and then let them ask questions. You'll know what to say, wh5. Hugs.
"I could have missed the pain, but I would have had to miss the dance." Garth Brooks
[This message edited by lynnm1947 at 2:35 PM, February 13th (Thursday)]
This has to be incredibly hard for you, losing both your parents in such a small window.
Did the doctors say what sort of a timeframe you may be working with? My grandfather had a tumor in his bladder, and when they discovered it they said he had about a year to live and didn't advise surgery or chemo. He lived for several more years and we made sure to make the most of our time with him.
I think that spending time with your mom is the most important thing right now. Making the most of what you are given - the kids will ask questions and you will give them delicate, honest answers, but getting to spend that time together is the most important thing.
Keeping you, BrokenRoad, and the kiddos in my prayers.
We went through this. I don't even remember what we told our kids, as awful as that sounds. I think we were honest with them, but I don't recall how we delivered the message.
My father had died 18 months earlier, my husband's mother (colon cancer) a year earlier, so I think we were still in a post trauma daze.
I can only offer my sympathy and prayers to your family.
This is so tough. I'd just like to send support and hugs to you and BR and your family.