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Massanutten with grieving grandkids - need help!!

laura1957

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We are going to Massanutten next week with 3 of the grandkids - 8 year old girl, and 2 boys 9 and 12. This has been planned for awhile but has almost been cancelled. Their grandmother has just passed away this week (my husband's exwife) and we debated whether we were still going or not - but my stepdaughters have encouraged us to stick with the plan, hoping to take the kids mind off everything here. But our hearts aren't quite in this vacation.

We are going to bring them to Luray Caverns, probably Frontier Culture Museum and hopefully for some of the programs at Shenandoah NP. These kids are pretty easy to please - usually get along exceptionally well and are happy just playing together. Any other suggestions?? I don't want to overdo it with planned activities, but I do want to keep their minds occupied. The 8 and 9 year olds lived with their grandmother and were extremely close to her.

we are hoping to take them to Gatlinburg or the Outer Banks in the spring - we will be more in the vacation mood then.
 

RDB

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Draw them together and explain your understanding of the situation. Say "Would Grandma want them to go have a great time, or sit around in grief?"

Tell them you all are going and what all you have planned. Let it be them to tell you if they wish to be excluded.
 

Liz Wolf-Spada

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Let them record their thoughts and experiences in letters and pictures dedicated to Grandma's memory. That way they can grieve and also have new experiences to enjoy and share.
Liz
 

laura1957

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Thanks for the suggestions - I really do like the idea of them writing about their experiences for their grandma. Especially our granddaughter - she really is into drawing pics and writing notes anyway, I do have a bag of paper/scissors/markers and all packed and ready to go already. I will pick them up scrapbooks also, and will have plenty of snapshots to add to them. Making it a project for grandma will appeal to them.

It looks like we are definately on for this vacation, but will be leaving Saturday after the funeral instead of Friday morning. One of the girls wants us to leave Friday anyway because she doesnt think her kids can handle the funeral - but my husband is definately going, and I would also like to go. If the kids dont want to attend I will stay home with them until it is over - but I think that should be their choice also. Especially the older boy, who is very mature for his age.
 

Liz Wolf-Spada

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Unless the kids really, really do not want to go to the funeral, I would encourage them to go, even the 8 year old. It offers closure, inclusion in the family grieving process and validation that she can handle this emotional time.
Liz
 

Ann-Marie

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I think that getting away always helps to forget about home, and the past week for them. The water park is great, and they could spend every day there for just a few hours a day. There is so much to see at Massanutten. We just came back. We had a unit in the Summitt all the way up at the top. Early morning, 6 am (ish), the friendly brown bear came to eat the garbage out of the dumpster! We never were up that early, but our friends loved the sight!!
 

Anne5

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My children are close in age to your granchildren. We stayed at the Summit last year and had a blast.

While expensive, the water park is sure to please. I think they have a disct for a few hours vs all day.

Resort sells activity cards there but we did not purchase, it was not worthwhile for us. If you go to Massanutten website, you can see the activities offered-loads! You can pay as you go or just select the free ones.

We drove to Luray Caverns and up to Big Meadows & Skyland. THe kids went pony riding (too young for horses then) at BIg Meadows (think it was Big Meadows-- otherwise it was Skyland).

Monticello is close by.

WIlliamsburg is 3 hours away. Wash DC 2 hours away.

I hope you enjoy your time together.
 

laura1957

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I have been to Massanutten many times - but it was the timing of this visit that worried me, for the kids sake. Especially with my stepdaughter trying to convince us to leave Friday before the funeral. My husband already has told her that was NOT going to happen - he will be at the funeral no matter what. It will be up to the kids if they want to go or not, the oldest has already told us he is definately going. I am still not sure about the younger two, it is their mother who doesnt want them to be there.

And I certainly hope we get to see a bear!! Last time at Massanutten I woke up early every morning and sat on the deck to watch the deer. We would definately get up to see a bear.
 
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