Friday, 18 September 2009

I've been thinking a lot about family relationships today. Mainly because my uncle, who suffered from Alzheimers, was found dead in bed at the old people's home where he lived, last night.
My uncle and auntie were married for 55 years, in fact my son and I attended their 50th wedding celebrations in the summer of 2004, when bless him, he was beginning to get a little dotty. I had just split up with someone at the time, and really had to force myself to even eat anything, so heartbroken and distraught was I. I sat looking at them celebrating, and thought "Wow, 50 years. I don't think it'll be physically possible for me to achieve that, even if I met my soul-mate tomorrow". So I hope my auntie comforts herself with the fact that they had something very precious together, that some people never find in a lifetime...and they enjoyed a gloriously long and happy marriage. Incidentally, he was in an old people's home because he had recently got very violent in his illness, and it was too dangerous to let him stay at home (which my auntie was adamant she wanted)...but eventually she had to face up to the reality...which was that her life was in danger if he stayed at home any longer...
So I'm waiting now to hear when the funeral will be, following which, I will book my son and I train tickets so we can attend. My son says he wants to be there, but my father expressed his opinion, which was that it will be no place for a 9 year old.However, given that we only rarely meet with the Southern branch of the family (we're all Northerners, and the rest are mainly in Hertfordshire and Kent), I think I will find it very difficult to find a sitter I could trust (or indeed know) when I get down there. Hmm...what to do. Maybe my well-off Southern cousins will have arranged a childminder, and we can tag my son onto the list of her charges.
Does anyone else have an opinion on what is the "right" age (if there can ever be one) for a child to be allowed to attend a funeral? I'd be grateful for your opinions.


  1. Hi Julie. So sorry for your loss. Just popped over from Exmoor Jane and love what you've written. Will def. be back to read more (but now I simply must get an early night ...!) Wanted to say v. quickly: I think your son is most definitely old enough to attend your uncle's funeral. Every child is different but my two daughters attended their beloved Granma's funeral (then aged 3 and 5)... Youngest remembers nothing of course but Eldest still says how glad she is to have the memories. Death/funerals are so much part of life. I think it's worth allowing your son to have the experience...

  2. Hi there...thanks so much for your comments. You just confirmed what I was thinking...that he is actually old enough to go to the funeral. I'm about to pop over and have a look at your blog just now, by the way (blogs are my new addiction ha ha). Hope to speak to you again soon. Thanks again.