My twin sister died about 2 months ago and she had a daughter, who is 3 years old. I am now looking after Morgan (my niece) as I am her godmother and her father died a couple of years before her mother. Morgan has been through so much in her life time so far, loosing both of her parents. It really upsets me to think of all the things she's been through, so my husband and I make the hugest effort to make sure that she is happy and her life can continue as normally as possible.
The whole thing is made much easier by the fact that my sister and I were very close, so I was also incredibly close to Morgan, as I would see her very often. She already spent time with me before her mum died so it is not like going to live with a total stranger.
With everything that has happened I am trying desperately hard to make sure that she feels happy. I am finding it hard though, she is very clingy and shy at the moment, which I can totally understand, she is missing her mum. But the thing is she will never leave me (and I mean never) which I have no real problem with but I'm not sure that it's healthy.
I am the mother of 7 boys and I can understand for her that it is incredbily intimidating for her to come and live in a house so loud and probably scary, after living in her house with just her mum and her.
The scariest thing is that anyone who knew Morgan before her mum died knew that she was the funniest little chatterbox there ever was. But now she barely ever speaks and I end up just walking around the house holding her hand or carrying her.
Morgan has been an absolute angel and I think her clingyness and closeness to me has been great at helping me to get past the absolute pain of my sister dying, no doubt i still feel totally upset all the time, but Morgan has helped to ease the pain considerably. She is just amazing and like a little koala bear.
At what point though does it become unnatural and when should I try to help her leave my side a bit. I think that I should gradually encourage her to have a bit of independence but I'm not sure at what point it isn't too soon anymore. I don't know whether to give her time or to try to help her leave my side earlier. Should I do it sooner so it is easier and so she can used to that or give her time for constant comfort and cuddles.
Also, my children are finding it quite hard as well. Although they have not been affected to the extent that Morgan and I have because of my sisters death, they have of course been affected. I do talk to my children but a lot of my attention has to put into talking to Morgan and making her feel happy. They are also affected by the fact that Morgan takes up a lot of my time and I feel I can not spend as much time with her.
Thank you for reading this and I would love to hear from anyone who has ever been in a similar situation or has an opinion on the matter.
I would also like to make it clear that I am happy to have Morgan clinging to me as long as she needs but I am asking your advice for HER sake and not for mine. I am trying to make sure that Morgan feels happy and do that thing that will help her in the long run as well as for now.