I am a 43 year old woman,who has raised a boy as a single parent for 18 years now. Everyday I miss my mother; she died in 1977, when I was 10 and my brother 6.
We didn't grieve properly for our mother. Though, raised by a wonderful father and stepmother; my childhood and, quite frankly, my adult life has been riddled with sadness; my brother has suffered from deep emotional and mental scarring at his lack of memory for her.
My younger brother and I were just let to our own devices when Mom died. We never had closure; we never went to the funeral. Later, I was told by my maternal grandmother, that my father asked her opinion and she thought best we didn't go.that decision. But a few years before she died Grandmother regretted that decision.
So I want to give an opinion on the subject of death of a parent with young children left behind. No, I'm no expert, I just feel my opinion very deeply. Simply talk to your children. Maybe you find they need grief counseling; in my case, I believe my father should have sent me to anger management. Grieve together with your children; they'll know it's okay to feel the way they do. Left to their own devices, they grow up like my brother and I.
It has taken me 43 years to start healing. I hope for every word I type, a little of the sadness goes away.