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Do I tell my kids or not? I need opinions!!
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Do I tell my kids or not? I need opinions!!

Hi everybody. I really need your opinions about this because I just don't know what to do.  My grandfather has been really sick for a few years.  Well today he was addmited to the hospital for an experimental new type of chemo. My grandmother just called us and told us that he is not doing well and to be prepared for the worst.  My kids are so close to him. They know he is sick, but don't know it's serious and that he might die.
Do I talk to them and prepare them or wait untill he dies?  
On one hand I don't want to worry them and make them sit and be scared that he is going to die. But on the other hand, should they be prepared that he might die so it's not such a shock for them when he does die?
If he lives through this next 4 days, and the chemo doesn't work then he will die anyway. But probably not for a little while. They are giving him, at the most, about 6 months.
( w/ no treatment)
This is the last kind of treatment that he can have. Nothing else has worked.  If this chemo DOES work, then it's only giving him more time.  Unfortunatly they can not cure this. But he could have a year or more if this treatment works.  I don't want my kids to sit and worry, especially if this treatment works.  
What would you guys do?
My kids are 10, 8, 4, and 2.  I probably wouldn't talk to my 4 year old about this.  I'm more worried about my 10 year old and 8 year old.  They are really close to my grandfather and I'm not sure how to deal with this.  I have never had to deal with a death of a loved one (other than m/c's) so this is all new territory for me.
All opinions are welcome!  Thanks!
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I wish I could tell you what to do w/ your kids, but Like you, I have never dealth w/ death closely or the lose of a loved one. It would be new for me too, so I really wouldn't know what to tell my kids either. But I wanted to extend my sympathy for what you are going through, my DH lost his Grandma to cancer a few years ago. I am so sorry you are dealing with this enevitable tragedy. My thoughts are definately with you!~bops
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You should tell your older children. They are probably already worried, and want to know what is going on. Be frank with them, tell them only the bare details, and let them ask questions if they want. You can also encourage them to pray for him. If they want to visit him, you should let them, but prepare them for what condition he is in. You would feel awful if he died, and your kids were completely shocked.
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I would recommend sitting down with the 10 and 8 year old and explain what is going on.  I, unfortunately, experienced a lot of death as a young person, and although I did not understand exactly what was going on all the time, I knew something bad was happening because of the emotions the "adults" had.  I ended up being confused and resentful later on because I did not get a chance to spend time with loved ones and say goodbye.  Kids are more aware than we often give them credit for, and, I believe, that we should show them the respect of the emotions that are often associated with a dying loved one.  They may have questions, feel free to answer them honestly.  And, if you are confused about what approach to take, often times high schools test a "Death and Dying" class as an elective.  Call them and see if they can put in you touch we a teach or guidance counselor.    I will pray for you during this most difficult time.
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210400_tn?1325384170
I agree with the above posts talk with your older children.
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Avatar_f_tn
Definatly talk to the older children.  They probably have already picked up on the fact that something is going on, just don't know what.  There's no way to avoid being upset yourself, and kids know when mom is upset.  I'm sorry you are going through this.  It's horrible on adults but it really is on kids.  Them not knowing what's going on might make it worse on them and they might resent you for not telling them.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks guys for replying!  My husband and I will sit them down tonight and talk with them.  I had a feeling you all would go that way, I just wasn't sure.  I just feel so bad for them.  But it makes sense that they will take it easier if they know it might happen.  In my opinon the shock would be a lot worse.
I'm just glad that they have had a chance to spend a lot of time with him this summer.
I wish we could go up there and say goodbye if things go downhill really fast, but unfortunatly he can't have anybody in the room with him. My grandma isn't even allowed to be in there.  Plus he is getting really sick and is in a lot of pain.  I don't want to have my kids remember him that way.  
Again, thank you for your thoughts.  Now I'm wondering when I'm going to start to feel it.  I have been concentrating so much on my kids, and there is some other things going on with my son right now that I haven't given myself a chance to feel.  I feel like there is something wrong with me because I don't feel like I should right now.
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164559_tn?1233711618
Nalla, I have a 3.5 year old.  When my Grammie died in May, we took the time to prepare him before she actually passed.  We told him that Grammie's body was worn out and that God in His wisdom may decide to take her home.  We then drove to the hospital.  She passed away 15 minutes before we got there.  We did not take him in to the hospital.  We did not take him to the wake or funeral.  We had a family gathering the day after the funeral and we took him to that.

I firmly believe that we were right in preparing him.  He still doesn't really grasp it, every once in a while he talks about going to visit her.  The concept of gone forever is hard.  But then I sometimes pick up the phone to call her.

On a sweet note, he told me after she passed that she was in heaven with out babies.  ( We lost two kids to mc).  He thinks she is in a beautiful nursery in heaven caring for those little ones.  

I hope the chemo works and our grandfather has many more years on this earth.
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