Hi. I’m needing some advice on how to comfort my 11 year old daughter. We got the call late Saturday evening that her dad passed away very unexpectedly. When we divorced he moved back to his home town 10 hours away she hasn’t seen him in close to 3 years they have FaceTimed talked on the phone at least weekly the past year before that he went down a rough path with drugs leading to our divorce so I wasn’t ok with her going to spend time with him 10 hours away I always encouraged her to FaceTime him and had agreed that if he stayed clean and outta trouble til summer she could go see him for a couple weeks. Now she will never get to spend time with him. I feel guilty for not letting her visit even tho I had reason to be hesitant with his addiction problems. My question is how do I comfort her during this very difficult time? How do I get over the pit of guilt in my stomach? Also for the record in our divorce papers it states supervised visitations. I’m just so confused and heartbroken for my baby girl
It would be really helpful to your daughter to speak with a therapist about this. There’s a lot of compounding trauma going on in this situation and that’s bound to have a lasting impact that you simply can’t fix by yourself.
My husband passed away unexpectedly in 2021. My daughters were 5years old and 9 months old. (7 and 2 now)
We talk about him daily, encourage my oldest to remember all the great memories, and have talked about Heaven and God a lot.
My oldest is also in therapy and grief counseling. (Which has seemed to help her through all of it.)
Just always be there for her to vent, cry, lean on.
My dad passed when I was 10. I was able to spend time with him before he did but other than that not much time so I can relate to that. Try not to feel guilty as I believe you did the right thing. She still has contact and that’s a great thing. She will know that when she gets older. Biggest thing is be there for her but not over bearing. Please answer any and all questions she has about him, even if they are hard, be honest. After a couple months or even now if you are both comfortable with it counseling might be a good option. It really kinda sucks going and I hated it but it does help. Your job is to love her always. She might act out, she might become quiet, she might act okay and she really might be okay. Everyone grieves their own way. I’m sorry for your family in this difficult time.
Definitely grief counselling for both of you. They can also give you tools so you can support your daughter as well
Don’t feel guilty you needed to protect your baby. Look how things turned out for him. You don’t want that influence planted in your baby.
This is a fantastic article that I found very helpful. There are a wealth of others on this website as well.https://www.jw.org/open?docid=2008489&prefer=lang&wtlocale=E
Just be there for her it takes time to grasp everything
I just want you to know it’s the right thing to do to protect children from addiction. That was a good decision on your part.
She is old enough to understand death, just leave out any of the bad things when you talk to her. It will serve no purpose since he is gone. Give her some good memories to have for her dad.