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New I'm haunted by her face...(maybe I need a mom's opinion?)
I debated whether or not to post this, as I have been trying to be less in depth about things regarding me, but I feel depressed tonight, and I don't even understand the reason myself. Yes, I just was at a funeral, and yes, I have reason to be "grieving" but I'm not really doing that, instead I seem to be just replaying one particular scene from the funeral over and over in my head.

To make it short, Katie's 7 year old granddaughter is only the second child I've ever met that has ever known how to behave around me in a manner that doesn't set off my anxiety. She adores John and I, and we visit Jane, (her mother) sometimes and watch Hockey with them, or fix her computer, etc.

At the gravesite, where Katie had me stay very nearby in case she needed me, there was this one moment I'll never forget. After Katie and her two daughters exited the tent with the casket, they folded one another into a large hug and cried. That was not the thing that struck me though. What struck me was this 7 year old child, whom I dearly care about, was staring out at me from between all of these black pantlegs, (her head was only about up to their waist), and had the most haunted, sad and frightened look I've ever seen on a child. And without even thinking, I knelt down on the ground and hugged her and held her. I told her it would be ok, and that John wished he could have come, but he had to work. And then her mother realized that she was alone down there (with me), and reached her hand down for her daughter, and I got discreetly out of the way.

I'm glad I did it, I feel so bad for that child. For the last year or so, Grandma Jeffie Yates lived there at Jane's house and that child saw awful and frightening things not too long ago as Jeffie had problems with reactions to medications. They chose not to have her present when Jeffie died, because they didn't know how easily Jeffie would pass. Katie and Jane were grateful that I comforted her when they were too overcome with their grief to notice her looking lost down there, and I felt good about what I did.

So if I did the right thing, and feel good about it, why am I so haunted by her face? It just broke my heart to see the expression on her face, and it seems to be the first thing I "see" in my mind when I think of the funeral.

Anyway, maybe just by posting this I can "get it off my mind some" where I can maybe sleep without it being the last thing I think of.

Just pondering, and would welcome any input as to why this is haunting me so. It seems almost seared into my memory.

Brenda



"When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life." -- By Geoffrey F. Abert
****************************

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter - and those who matter, don't mind." -- By Dr. Seuss
***********************************

"Sometimes it takes a whole lot more strength to walk away than to stand there and fight." -- By the character of John Abbott: said on Young & Restless on 5/19/06
*********************************
Expand Edited by Nightowl Nov. 15, 2006, 02:11:24 AM EST
New the girl was reacting to the emotions around her
at 7 she really doesnt get it too much, just that allthe adults were very sad around ger. She will recover faster than almost everyone else. 2 examples
My father died when I was 14. I was the oldest. My youngest brother who was 9 at the time even though he was at the funeral that the old man left because he couldnt stand our mother (reasonable reaction) and didnt really grasp it until he was 38 or so.
My own daughter at 8 is handling the death of her older brother much better than the rest of us. She remembers him well but does not grok the death part in the same way as the rest of us.
So you did fine to comfort the little one now watch as she unknowingly comforts the adults back,
thanx,
bill
Any opinions expressed by me are mine alone, posted from my home computer, on my own time as a free american and do not reflect the opinions of any person or company that I have had professional relations with in the past 50 years. meep
New What Box says.
I'm sure it varies by individual, but kids under 10 don't understand implications of death.
Alex

When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross. -- Sinclair Lewis
New So she wasn't experiencing real grief?
That makes sense, Box. She was just scared and sad because all the grownups around her that she normally depends on to keep her safe and ok were crying and falling apart.

She knows Grandma isn't moving, and she touched her in the casket at the Wake. And I knew people have told her Grandma is gone and in a better place. I just have no idea what a 7 year old child's comprehension level is.

The night before at the wake, however, I also hugged her and told her Grandma was in a better place now, and she said, "Yeah, they keep telling me that."

Your brother didn't get that your dad was dead till he was 38? Or did you mean that he didn't get that your dad left your mom till he was 38? I didn't quite get the first example you gave. You said the Old man left the funeral, but if he was dead... (sorry, guess I'm just confused) could you clarify?

One more question then, should we not say "dead or death" to the 7 year old?

Brenda




"When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life." -- By Geoffrey F. Abert
****************************

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter - and those who matter, don't mind." -- By Dr. Seuss
***********************************

"Sometimes it takes a whole lot more strength to walk away than to stand there and fight." -- By the character of John Abbott: said on Young & Restless on 5/19/06
*********************************
New father died
my brother at nine didnt comprehend the funeral, he didnt fully accept our fathers death till he was 38. Didnt really remember it, just that his dad was gone.

The girl physically knows grandma is gone and isnt coming back, she just doesnt comprehend dead.
thanx,
bill
Any opinions expressed by me are mine alone, posted from my home computer, on my own time as a free american and do not reflect the opinions of any person or company that I have had professional relations with in the past 50 years. meep
New If you comprehend 'death'
Then, My Son you are an Enlightened Beingthere are no \ufffds on That

(Just because millions have been nattering about it for centuries, and the cloaked-ones pretend to have grokked it to fullness -?- all that shit is just the politics of sheep-manipulation for the usual status + profit.)

Now then, as to DEATH: Terry Pratchett's bio makes more unadulterated Sense than all those gold-leaf-Illuminated screeds -- and it's a 'Hell' of a lot more unpretentious Fun


(and.. Bonus! he manages to handle the illusion that there is 'time' massively better than the, er, 6-dimensional phase-space gavotte.)

:-0

New bad phrasing
I meant she didnt comprehend the common knowledge of death, the fear that it engenders in the left behind. The sorrow of never holding that physical being again.
Now to really comprrehend death,

At the moment of truth you look down at yourself
see what has become, sorrow for those left
an unseen hand cannot comfort but a force of will
touches those crying around that shell

the stars compell, the freedom to fly effortlessly among the cosmos
the pain is gone
the memories fade as delight in the newness
of this medium we see, time does not exist
as you travel with a whooshing sound in empty space
the speed attracts particles of ice and metalic space debris
your eyes become rubies, you skin is replaced
by diamond dust as with purpose not human or devine
as you seek a vague sense of justice denied
you are,
the silver surfer

Any opinions expressed by me are mine alone, posted from my home computer, on my own time as a free american and do not reflect the opinions of any person or company that I have had professional relations with in the past 50 years. meep
New My.

Imric's Tips for Living
  • Paranoia Is a Survival Trait
  • Pessimists are never disappointed - but sometimes, if they are very lucky, they can be pleasantly surprised...
  • Even though everyone is out to get you, it doesn't matter unless you let them win.


Nothing is as simple as it seems in the beginning,
As hopeless as it seems in the middle,
Or as finished as it seems in the end.
 
 
New So we probably shouldn't use the word death then
I mean when we see her again (probably next week).

Thanks for explaining it, Boxley.

Brenda



"When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life." -- By Geoffrey F. Abert
****************************

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter - and those who matter, don't mind." -- By Dr. Seuss
***********************************

"Sometimes it takes a whole lot more strength to walk away than to stand there and fight." -- By the character of John Abbott: said on Young & Restless on 5/19/06
*********************************
New umm no, use dead and death all you want
she just doesnt understand what the adults understand about it, its just a description like "granma went to australia to live with the aboriginies" would have the same effect as "greandma is dead". It doesnt mean the same thing to her as you.
thanx
bill
Any opinions expressed by me are mine alone, posted from my home computer, on my own time as a free american and do not reflect the opinions of any person or company that I have had professional relations with in the past 50 years. meep
New But don't say "went to sleep"
If you tell a kid it's like she went to sleep and will never wake up, the kid will be afraid to sleep. Don't do that.
===

Kip Hawley is still an idiot.

===

Purveyor of Doc Hope's [link|http://DocHope.com|fresh-baked dog biscuits and pet treats].
[link|http://DocHope.com|http://DocHope.com]
New I actually wondered about that phrase
The family was describing her death as "she just closed her eyes and went peacefully to sleep" but I don't recall them saying that around children, just adults.

I'm wondering if the best option for handling this is to ask her mother Jane what was actually told to her about Jeffie, so we can stay consistent.

To make matters worse, the night after the funeral, Jane came home to find their beloved old dog had had a stroke, and he had to be "put to sleep." I wonder how they differentiated that between Jeffie and the dog.

I'm the first to admit I know next to nothing about kids, but I know I do not want to do anything to scare her more or make anything worse. I'm actually hoping that maybe she won't bring up losing Grandma if we go over there for Thanksgiving, but if she does, I want to know the best way to respond.

Thanks for all the input, I'm taking it all in and trying to handle it in the best way possible. Talking about it seems to have alleviated some of the haunting visions however, but reminded me of another terrified child I comforted once upon a time years back when her parents became violent at one another, which was often.

Odd that the two children I've ever connected with or that have connected with me, have seen so much pain and tragedy and suffering.

Brenda






"When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life." -- By Geoffrey F. Abert
****************************

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter - and those who matter, don't mind." -- By Dr. Seuss
***********************************

"Sometimes it takes a whole lot more strength to walk away than to stand there and fight." -- By the character of John Abbott: said on Young & Restless on 5/19/06
*********************************
New Your wonderings are just the tip of an iceberg
(I trust you realize.)

While a tyke this age will learn / at least be exposed to ~ethics, by watching parents - what they do, more than what they say - inculcation of fav religious tenets would presumably await the development of her senses, in any sane household. But, you Do Not Know! what has been fed here, along with the easter bunny, etc.

Problem IMO is.. when, early-on -- waay to early to reason or even chat about the ephemeral -- 'death' [the phenomenon] is intricately entwined with 'guaranteed resurrection if-you-don't piss-off-god'. Then follows the Terror implications if-you-Do piss-off-god. What a Petri dish for infantile imaginations to run with, filling in all those blanks. Vividly, as in nightmares.

The "going to sleep" confusion is often a cynical manipulation to sell a creed to an innocent. With [death] being utterly misunderstood/misunderstandable: for some, we see that such confusion can set the stage for a life filled with neurotic stuff to settle.



Scary, innit? - especially in a place where lawyers once outnumbered engineers 10:1. (Might be 30:1 by now.)

Luck in feeling your way through this minefield. ;-{

New Thank you Ashton. :) Laura, Amy, can I ask your input?



"When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life." -- By Geoffrey F. Abert
****************************

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter - and those who matter, don't mind." -- By Dr. Seuss
***********************************

"Sometimes it takes a whole lot more strength to walk away than to stand there and fight." -- By the character of John Abbott: said on Young & Restless on 5/19/06
*********************************
New This is my perspective on the whole thing
Don't try to read her mind. Rather than conjecturing on what the child is thinking/going through, just be there to listen. And never, ever, talk down to a child. Kids hate to be patronized like that. If you see that she is troubled, ask her what she is thinking or if she wants to talk about it. Better yet, just sit down with some crayons and blank paper and start drawing. You will be amazed at how kids can express their feelings through art.

I'm thinking you are troubled because you see yourself as that little girl and it is bringing back some painful memories. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to grieve, both for the memories and for the recent death.

My suggestion about getting rid of the haunting face is to tap into your spirituality and visualize the child at peace because you love her so much. For that, she is truly blessed.


Smile,
Amy
New Re: This is my perspective on the whole thing
Don't try to read her mind. Rather than conjecturing on what the child is thinking/going through, just be there to listen. And never, ever, talk down to a child. Kids hate to be patronized like that. If you see that she is troubled, ask her what she is thinking or if she wants to talk about it. Better yet, just sit down with some crayons and blank paper and start drawing. You will be amazed at how kids can express their feelings through art.


Never ever talk down to a child. I'm not exactly sure what that means, could you elaborate or could someone explain it better? I have very little experience with kids. I like the crayon idea though. :)

I'm thinking you are troubled because you see yourself as that little girl and it is bringing back some painful memories. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to grieve, both for the memories and for the recent death.


I think you may be right. Another friend of mine suggested that maybe I felt a lot of empathy for her. And they would be right, as I know how that felt, to see my parents fall apart like hers were.

My suggestion about getting rid of the haunting face is to tap into your spirituality and visualize the child at peace because you love her so much. For that, she is truly blessed.


Thank you Amy, you have really helped me see things another way entirely. :)I'm not sure if we're seeing her next week now or not, but at least if we do, I have some idea what to do. :)

Brenda




"When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life." -- By Geoffrey F. Abert
****************************

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter - and those who matter, don't mind." -- By Dr. Seuss
***********************************

"Sometimes it takes a whole lot more strength to walk away than to stand there and fight." -- By the character of John Abbott: said on Young & Restless on 5/19/06
*********************************
New Talking down
Very often adults speak to children in a condescending way. Children are very bright and it is better to talk to a child using correct words and phrases than to euphemize.

In other words, talk to a child as though he/she has a functioning intellect. More often than not, that is the case.
Smile,
Amy
     I'm haunted by her face...(maybe I need a mom's opinion?) - (Nightowl) - (16)
         the girl was reacting to the emotions around her - (boxley) - (15)
             What Box says. - (a6l6e6x)
             So she wasn't experiencing real grief? - (Nightowl) - (13)
                 father died - (boxley) - (12)
                     If you comprehend 'death' - (Ashton) - (2)
                         bad phrasing - (boxley) - (1)
                             My. -NT - (imric)
                     So we probably shouldn't use the word death then - (Nightowl) - (8)
                         umm no, use dead and death all you want - (boxley) - (7)
                             But don't say "went to sleep" - (drewk) - (6)
                                 I actually wondered about that phrase - (Nightowl) - (5)
                                     Your wonderings are just the tip of an iceberg - (Ashton) - (4)
                                         Thank you Ashton. :) Laura, Amy, can I ask your input? -NT - (Nightowl) - (3)
                                             This is my perspective on the whole thing - (imqwerky) - (2)
                                                 Re: This is my perspective on the whole thing - (Nightowl) - (1)
                                                     Talking down - (imqwerky)

Dutch man on the mizzen mast!
80 ms