A close colleague of mine has passed away, and I would like to go to the funeral. It's about a 1.5 hour drive away, though, which makes for a pretty long time away from DD, who is still nursing and has never gone down for her nap without me. There is also a visitation that I could go to instead of or as well as. The funeral is a full mass in a Catholic church, with the interment afterwards, which I probably wouldn't attend. I've been to funerals where there are lots of kids - usually in a funeral parlour where there's a reception room where you can take small children if they can't sit through the service, or where they leave the door open at the back and people with little kids can move in and out as they need to - but I don't think this is that kind of funeral. I expect it will be formal, full, difficult to get up once seated, and not really appropriate to be moving around during the service. So here are the options I can think of:
- Take DD with me to the visitation on Friday afternoon. It's a long drive, but she'll sleep most of the way there and part of the way back. I would actually get to visit with the family and express my sympathy. There are many young children in the family, so I'm pretty sure it would be an appropriate place to have DD.
- Go to the funeral by myself, leaving DD with DH. But that will be a long time for me to be away from her (about 5-6 hours), including the part of the day where she usually naps and she still nurses to sleep.
- Take DD and DH with me to the funeral, and then have him find somewhere nearby to take her during the actual service.
I can do a combination of these things. I'm thinking right now maybe the best is to go to the visitation on Friday, and try to determine based on that what the best option is for the funeral itself the next day.
I would love advice, though. I don't have a lot of experience of this kind of formal church funeral, and I don't want to offend anyone. Thanks!
38 years old
TTC #1 for 20 cycles + IUI #1 March 9 2010 = DD Alice born December 6 2010.
I've taken my daughter to 2 wakes - both for my uncles. I think the first she was maybe 1.5 years old and the second she was 2 years plus a few months. One of the funeral parlors had a kids play area and it was great! The other didn't but there was plenty for her to do. I didn't bring her up to the casket though - she probably wouldn't have cared since she was so young, but it just didn't feel right to do that. I took DD to one church funeral service but my DH and parents were there so lots of people to help and keep her happy and occupied. Why not take your DD with you and just make sure you have a seat in the back and at the end of an aisle in the church so you can escape quickly (or at least near a door if not in the back). If your DH can go with you it might be easier on you. Good luck!
Kate (34) DH (35) 7/4/2007 9/12/08 11/1/12DDog (5)
I would go to the funeral, but bring DH and DD and either have them go to McDs/Starbucks, the library or somethign while you're at the actual funeral or have them come in but sit at the back at the end of an aisle so they can escape if necessary. Even the most formal Catholic mass funerals are likely to have at least one kid there. I was at a very formal, full Catholic mass funeral on Wednesday and there were at least two toddlers. I saw one of the parents escaping out the back mid-way through. Totally normal.
Nicola (36)DH(38)Samantha (4.5)Alexandra (6 months!)
2/24/11 - BFP!01/20/12 - Heartbeat 146 on ultrasound!02/23/12 - NT scan - everything looks good!03/16/12 - Early anatomy scan. Everything looks good and looks like a !!04/13/12 - Still a girl and everything progressing great! Now if only we could agree on a name . . .07/12/12 - Complete placenta previa found on ultrasound. C-section scheduled for August 24th!!
What does your husband think? I would go with what he'd prefer. Frankly, she will probably go down for nap just fine if you're not around - I've had those same worries with my own children when they were similar ages and nursing for naps, but they've always done fine for someone other than me at naptime. But at the same time, if he'd just prefer to go with you and play somewhere nearby, that would be cool too. I personally would not take a toddler to a funeral - maybe the visitation, like you say, but it seems like a long drive for a visitation...
Susan - 32 married to Chris - 33
Catherine Anne born via c-section June 30, 2008
Rebecca Marie born naturally April 18, 2010
John McNary born naturally January 9, 2012
Julia Grace due August 24, 2013!
For me, the decision is based on whether I will be able to focus on DD at the funeral. We took her to my grandmother's funeral when she was 14 months because my grandmother had had severe dementia for years, and her finally going was a blessing (for her and us). I knew that while I would be sad, I wouldn't be so upset that I couldn't take DD outside if necessary, or entertain her. On the other hand, when my grandfather died suddenly last year (96 and still sharper than most 30 year olds), I was devastated, and knew the funeral would be an incredibly emotional experience. So we got a babysitter. That way I was able to cry without worrying about upsetting DD, and nothing was distracting me from the service.
Remember, you're there not only to pay your respects, but to say goodbye and grieve for your own personal loss of your friend. I think if you bring her, definitely bring DH so that if your emotions become too strong, he can take over with your DD.
In addition to pp's good advice, most churches, especially big, catholic ones have 'cry rooms' where you can see and hear the service but people can't see and hear you and your LO can run around. Since you know where the funeral is going to be, you could call the church and ask if they have a cry room. HTH!