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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sally1981 View Post
    As someone who has has a baby die soon after birth, this is a tough one. I don't know the answer but a couple of thoughts:

    - having the family recognise and support you after this is extremely important. The mother is not expecting anyone to travel, she's rolling this into already set Christmas plans. It's not an unreasonable request to ask for support from your immediate family.

    - death is a part of life. People forget that often when a baby or child dies there is a young sibling who has to deal with it. These children grow and cope and survive an experience much worse than a church service and a sad talk. I'm still trying to work out how to explain to my ds1 that his brother is dead and I know plenty of people who have successfully navigated that situation with 5,6 and 7 year olds. Part of me thinks our world would be better if other kids weren't shielded completely from these realities because I think it has the ability to make them more empathetic and understanding from a younger age.

    - with the church service though, the part I think is a bit too much is expecting you to keep a child still and quiet throughout it. It's probably going to be boring for a young child and the last thing some Angel parents need is watching someone wrangle an (understandably) fidgety child (which some of them will never be lucky enough to get the chance to do). I think your husband should go since he's her brother, but I probably wouldn't take a young child.

    - and I realise the OP never said this and seems happy to go to the service herself. Clearly this post is about concern for her child not her, so this is directed at PPs saying they wouldn't be comfortable going themselves. I suggest you don't ever say that to a still parent, particularly a close relative. These are people who have given birth to a dead baby then buried their own child. Whatever discomfort you feel is nothing compared to what they feel. They weren't ready to deal with this and if they have the strength to reach out and actually ask for what they need then they need those close to them to respond. If they ask and you're not close then make another excuse. If you are close and the request is not a 'trigger' of some sort, then please just do it. Don't expect them to be ok with your 'discomfort' (as opposed to concern for your child, which is different). That's too much to ask.
    Totally agree. One parents slight discomfort or inconvenience is not comparable with another parents gut wrenching life changing loss.

    So sorry for your loss xx

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSecret Squirrel View Post
    My first thought was that it was a bit much to expect extended family to travel interstate to attend and I would decline, however as you have now said you are going to be there anyway, I would go.
    I missed this part.
    I thought it was too much to expect you to travel at Christmas to this service but if you're going to be there anyway, i change my mind. If there's a way you can make it work, I would. If your daughter finds it too upsetting, is there a part of the service you could attend?

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  5. #23
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    Thanks everyone, I should also have said that DH will definitely go, and we also have a 14 month old who can go - she won't understand it anyway. I would also be fine to go - it's just DD1 that I'm worried about.

    I agree with Sally that death is normal, and that it's healthy for kids to learn about it. I just think that, if you have the option of waiting until the child is ready, then it's ok to wait. SIL has an older DD who hasn't slept properly since the stillbirth. She will cope and survive and be fine in the end, but I don't believe that level of anxiety is good for her. Empathy can be developed in other ways.

    I also agree that there are ways to deliver the message about death appropriately. I guess I would like some control over that, rather than putting such an important communication in the hands of a stranger at a service.

    Quote Originally Posted by babyla View Post
    Grief is a terrible thing which we have all felt at some point, it does not mean you get to have expectation over how you expect others to behave or what you expect them to do.
    This really struck a chord with me. We have a history of not meeting SIL's expectations on this issue. When the still birth happened, we were living overseas and flew back for the funeral. We also extended our stay when we saw that she was upset and everyone else had gone home. We were told later that we didn't really understand her situation and weren't saying the right things. A year later, we went away for a whole weekend for the first birthday. We couldn't afford the time or the money, but we went along, only to be told off because we hadn't called on the actual day of the anniversary. We are constantly being told that we have to bring it up more and ask more questions. I feel quite certain that we will go to this service, and it won't be good enough. I guess I'm no longer willing to have DD exposed to this when it doesn't seem to benefit SIL.

    Anyway, I guess there are some other issues here between me and SIL, which influence my thinking (hence the thread to get the views of others who aren't so emotionally involved! So far this has been really helpful. )

  6. #24
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    Default Sticky situation

    Quote Originally Posted by Cdro View Post

    Anyway, I guess there are some other issues here between me and SIL, which influence my thinking ! ))
    Hey I'm not meaning to be narky however that's the impression I got from reading your last post.

    I know it's hard but you have to give SIL a little slack here. If you've had differences in the past put them aside and judge the present by it's own merits. Try not to take things personally; try not to put the focus on your own feelings. If she's a bit snappy suck it up and use it as an excuse to offer her an extra hug. If you do make a family trip to offer support do it altruistically - don't be resentful of the cost down the track.

    You have been invited to the service a so despite what may have happened in the past you are seen a trusted member of the family ... and members of your family who are grieving have asked for support.

    Can you put differences aside to commemorate a poor bubba?
    Last edited by VicPark; 21-11-2015 at 21:40.

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    Default Sticky situation

    My sister lost a baby. Now my 4yo continually says "did your baby die?" At random times to her. Thankfully my sister is pretty good about it but it has to be salt in her wound.

    It's hard. I would go to be supportive but totally understand your anxiety about your DD.

    Have you seen these? Perhaps regardless of her attendance you could order her one of these. It's s Christmas bauble with a feather and little crystal person in there.
    ImageUploadedByThe Bub Hub1448105831.007482.jpg

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    What if you talked to SIL? Call her up, ask some questions about how she's coping, talk about the lost baby. Ask how she'd like you to show that you remember the baby? And maybe say you're a bit unsure about the service but how else could DD remember her cousin in an age appropriate way?

    With that kind of intense grief it seems like it would be good to ask how she'd like to be supported? I think just the asking will show you really care.

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    Hi Cdro, I personally would not take my 4 year old to the service either- I would express my condolences and support in person, since you will be seeing her face to face, and I would inform her that you don't think its appropriate for your DD to attend the service. Whilst the concept of death is probably okay to discuss with a 4 year old in a safe environment (although I haven't really had those big discussions with my kids yet- who range from 3 to 9 yrs), a service attended by a lot of grieving people (who will no doubt be outwardly grieving during the service)- it could be too intense and confronting. if you feel it would be inappropriate for your DD, I think that is reasonable, and you shouldn't push your concerns aside and attend. Perhaps your DH and little one can go, or just DH. Wellbeing of your child has to be at the forefront, although it is a difficult situation... All the best.

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    Default Sticky situation

    I love what Betty W said. Take your 4 year old and be upbeat about it so it takes away the anxiety and fear and then if it gets a bit much go outside a look at flowers or play a game and just say you had to pop out as xxx was getting restless.

    Then I just read Littleriv.. I agree with her too gah.

    Meet her before and after to show support but stay away from the service. I would hate to be a sobbing mess making young kids feel upset.
    Last edited by lilypily; 22-11-2015 at 06:49.

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    Default Sticky situation

    @Cdro she has asked for a lot. My SIL lives overseas and it didn't even occur to me that she should come back. No one else apart from DH and me even met DS2 and it was only us at the funeral. I just didn't want to share him with anyone in the short amount of time I got to be his mother. My post is influenced by my own experiences of people behaving sub - optimally.

    I'm responding again because I think I'm the only one on this thread who's experienced the other side so I hope you don't mind.

    I would stay away from words like 'inappropriate'. This thread isn't even about me and the hackles go up every time I read that. Grieving parents are not in their right minds when it comes their angels and it's probably not reasonable to expect them to be. I would tread more carefully than usual. 'Inappropriate' is an implied judgment on them for asking your kids in the first place. I wouldn't use that word.

    Also, one of the main feelings we have after the initial phase is an intense feeling of isolation because no one around us has been through this. Following that is this fear that our older kids are going to be screwed up for life because they were exposed to this too early. Saying it's inappropriate for your child to be exposed to this now naturally leads to thoughts about her child had no choice and what that actually means. It's hard to watch people exercising choices that you no longer have.

    If I were you I'd stay back with both of your children and say you don't know how they're going to react and you want your DH to be able concentrate all his energies on your SIL. If the 14 month old won't understand anyway there's no point in them going.

    And @Wise Enough, strangely your child and their comments would be a breath of fresh air to me! Nothing like the honesty of children. It's not like our angels are ever not on our minds anyway

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    I thought also, could you talk to SIL about what other things might be a less intense way for you and your DD to remember her cousin like planting a tree perhaps?

    I love planting trees as a way of remembering someone because then it's something that keeps growing and gets big and strong and shades over you...

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