I also agree with @harvs. Being that I have no real personal experience with grief, I would stress that by me signing Sian's name in the card it would upset you.
I would definitely feel that you are allowed to do it, but would lost regarding the protocol for myself. And not knowing what everyone else who sends you cards and letters does, I would play it safe by not writing her name.
Gently mention it to your friend- I'm certain she will feel terrible for upsetting you and begin to include Sian in all further letters and cards.
It is great to see you back on bh a bit more, @siansmum. I remember you and was so saddened by your loss and I cried an awful lot for you and Sian. Xx
I'm not sure if I have any advice, maybe just some insight of my own experience as an angel mum (I don't know if you remember but we used to be in the same FB support group).
I don't regularly sign our daughter's name in cards. I was worried about a time coming when maybe I didn't want to sign it anymore and feeling that guilt of having to make that choice but I do know many people who do and I do sign her name with specific people (other people who have lost a baby). I also know it's different for you as she was actually living on this earth with you and you were already signing her name.
The 'etiquette' of loosing a child and how you want to deal with it and how others deal with it is such a minefield because we all handle it so differently. My parents pretty much don't acknowledge our daughter at all, no matter how many times I mention her anniversary coming up, etc. I still won't hear from them on the day, not even a text saying they're thinking of me and DH. But then my mom will ask to hold her ashes and cry. It infuriates me. I just try to ignore it now as I can't be bothered arguing and dealing with whatever their thoughts or feelings are on the subject. Then I have a mom I used to nanny for that emails me a beautiful message on the day she was born every year. The response from friends and family and how they support us varies so much and I learned slowly to try and ignore the responses that hurt my feelings. I do love when people mention and use her name in a card though, letting me know she's not forgotten.
I think harvs has probably hit the nail on the head. Many people feel it's not their 'right' to use your child's name and they worry about causing hurt. Many do not understand that it's actually the not mentioning that hurts. We think of our babies every minute, mentioning their name isn't going to suddenly make us remember. Mentioning their name actually makes our hearts happy.
If you think she'd be receptive and not defensive, I would just be honest. Try to have a nice chat with her about how much having Sian's name mentioned means to you and that you're grateful she does that but that you'd love if she could put her name in the greeting as well. Her train of thought may be similar to mine, that she's worried if she starts doing that and then forgets once, or that you decide not to do that anymore that she'd be offending you or causing guilt by including her name in the greeting.
I guess my only advice is to have an honest chat with her but to try to also not take it personally. So many people, and usually those closest to us, often do not know how to act when somebody is grieving.
Hi Siansmum, I don't have much advice, but I just wanted to let you know that I often think of your little Sian, as well as you and your family xx
I haven't lost a child, but I lost my sister when I was 15 - my parents lost their first child before I was born, this was their second child that died.
Every one of us dealt with it so differently. We never wrote their names on cards or anything, I don't think anyone ever thought to do it.
Every year we would go as the three of us to the crematorium on the anniversary of their deaths, I had to stop going, I just couldn't cope with that absolute stark reality of what was in front of me. I used to go a lot but I haven't been in a while.
We also used to have a family dinner on anniversary of deaths and birthdays, as the years passed on this slowly stopped too. I used to dread it, I didn't need a day to remember my sister, I remembered her ever single day, but my parents still wanted it. Eventually they didn't want it either.
Not a day goes by that we don't think of either of them, me especially I find as I get older that I miss her so much more, I crave that bond and reliability of having someone to talk too.
We talk about them often, my kids know I had two older sisters and what has happened, they even know I'm adopted. But for many years I wouldn't talk about my sister, I still won't listen to songs played at her funeral, I avoid any triggers I can.
I guess what I'm saying is that no one really knows the right way to deal with death and I would hope beyond hope that your friend is, probably like so many of us, awkward in our approach. So many people want to know they care but just don't know how to do it - she may think she will upset you, she may feel uncomfortable - it's such a hard thing. She won't ever forget your precious Sian, just may not be great at talking about it.
GBH's to you and your family, such a horrendous thing to go through.
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