What would your mother say?

February 28, 2011 tooboots

I have a sweet gig as a sometime/somewhat member of my town’s online advice column, aptly called the Moms Council. Every week the council is posed a question, we answer, and by some ambiguous screening method, a tidy collection of replies posts every Wednesday afternoon. There is no telling how many council members there are (or if we are all women)–since communication is done via email and we have yet to meet–but after a little over a month of Mom Council-ing, this is the image I have of our group:

**I’m Lucy, of course 🙂

The questions range from serious child raising topics to our reaction to pertinent news in our neck of the woods. Our answers don’t attempt to be more than what you’d tell your girlfriend over the phone, or better yet, over a glass of wine. It is so. much. fun, because as soon as a new topic or issue is brought forth, the Internet is a buzzin’ with the Peanut Gallery’s two cents, with lots of personal info added in for good measure. Hey, how else would I know a fellow member has a new and bigger bed?

Anyway, I’m posting the question and my answer from last week in order to give you an idea of what the Mom Council is all about, and to be honest, because I’m still a little brain drained from the weekend. Hit or miss? I’d love to know what you think~

Question: When is a child ready to experience a wake and funeral? How would you determine this? How do you respond (kindly) to those who question your decision? 

 My Answer: We never questioned the age of our children when preparing to attend a wake and/or funeral—we just all went. Sure, when the kids were younger, we would pack snacks and activities to occupy them, but now at ages 15, 13, and 9 we fully expect them to listen to the eulogy, participate in the prayers, and pay their respects to the deceased. We always addressed their questions or assuaged any fears but for the most part, there have been few. Once, our daughter was a bit apprehensive approaching the coffin of a family friend, but was comforted knowing we were right alongside her. What to respond if questioned of our decision? I’d shrug my shoulders and say we couldn’t find a sitter.

 Our culture (my husband and I are Filipino) is rich with tradition, some of which involve honoring our deceased relatives. We feel it is important to teach our children that while family memories are gathered from joyful times they are, unfortunately, also built on occasions bittersweet.

 

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One Comment Add your own

  • 1. Pretty bootsie fan!  |  February 28, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    This rings true for me, too. My whole life has been surrounded by “life”…in all it’s forms. We have not hesitated once in bringing our children to funerals or wakes. All along knowing that it’s our job to teach them about such events and to respect the living and the deceased. Just as our parents had done for my brother, sister and me growing up.

    One way or another, the lesson comes…whether it’s their fish, a prized stuffed animal or a loved one. Children can handle much more than we give them credit for.


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