Friends baby has died. How do I handle this in the easiest way for them?

(24 Posts)
chipmonkey Mon 03-Dec-12 09:59:23

Seeker is spot on but one thing I would add to it is that a few people sent me their mobile number when dd died but I was too shy to follow up and call them. A lovely friend kept calling me up and inviting me for coffee and cake ( and she makes damned fine cake!) I'll never forget how wonderful she's been.
Also if you want to send your friend a link to our Bereaved Mums thread here there are lots of us who have lost babies or older children. Sometimes in the real world, you can feel very alone.

whiteandyelloworchid Mon 03-Dec-12 09:22:37

hi my ds died the same day he was born,in feb this year, i'm so sorry for your friend.i think its really nice of you to post this to get advice
i would say send a condolnace card, use the childs name, make real offers of help, not vague if you need anything let me know, which often sounds like an empty promise, say to the family if they ever want to show you any of the babys things, you woul dbe honoured and privaliged to see them, as they may want ot share things with you but be unsure if you want to see them or not, make it clear your willing to/would like
remember, the key dates, next year on the babys birthday perhaos send a card, letter, flowers anything just to show you remember that will probably touch them more than anything
mayeb even plant a tree in that babys memory, we have a lovely mini apple tree in alarge pot we have just covered in christmas decorations
you probbaly feel really helpless, but actually theres alot you can do to help.

alos just listen, don't advise, do this so that, just offer a hug and listen
its not about what you say, the listening is more importnat
good luck op

and sorry to the fellow mums on here that have lost children too xx

Monty27 Sun 02-Dec-12 15:52:09

Thank you Welove

Seeker, that is really good advice.

Custard you sound lovely. I am sorry to hear this though.

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Sun 02-Dec-12 14:45:55

Perfect advice seeker
Spot on.

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 09:00:03

Don't send a card. Send a little letter. Use the baby's name. Put your telephone numbers and email address in it, and say that if there's anything you can do they should get in touch. I would possibly specifically offer child care if you know theirnolder child well enough.Then follow it up every couple of weeks or so, especially after the funeral when people tend to fade away.

Welovecouscous Sun 02-Dec-12 08:53:13

Dear Monty I am so sorry about the loss of your baby sad

Threadjack all you like. I started this for advice from those who sadly know, you have all helped and I appreciate it. Thank you and I'm so sorry that you have all ha experience of this awful, awful thing

Monty27 Sun 02-Dec-12 02:04:07

Birthday I should have said... the pain never stops

Monty27 Sun 02-Dec-12 02:03:19

lady et al (())

9th December was d day for me. (Sorry op for threadjacking) 21st? sad

FairyChristmas Sat 01-Dec-12 20:25:08

welove, custard and monty - thank you (this is Lady having changed to a Christmas name).

monty the big birthdays are especially hard, aren't they, 18th was not good x

Monty27 Fri 30-Nov-12 23:04:42

Custard, send the condolence card using their son's name.

Offer love and practical help. They will be in a mess.

Lady, me too, four months. (21 years now). x

lady I am also so very sorry about your DD. And I'm glad you still talk about her-she will always be your DD, you will always be a mum of 4 (or more, dont know if she was your first child or not)

Thank you everyone for your advice. I am thanking my lucky stars that I hadn't been organised enough to post a congratulations card the day he was born-I was going to, and then a meeting I was in ran over. Phew. Yes, I know his name. I'll definitely call him by his name, and say how beautiful he was.

Welovecouscous Fri 30-Nov-12 22:26:19

Lady I am so very sorry about your dd sad

I think your advice to use the baby's name is very important. I will try to remember that if I ever have to write another card like this.

ladygoldenlion Fri 30-Nov-12 22:13:40

Definitely do not send the congratulations card, that would be really upsetting. I too have been through something similar (DD was one month when she died) and condolence cards meant such a lot. The worst thing for me was people not acknowledging it at all (usually because they thought they would say or write the wrong thing). If you know your friend's son's name, use it in the card.

I still talk about her now sad she would be 19 this year sad sad. Thank God I have had 3 further children - although it feels like the end of the world at the time, life goes on.

Sympathies to your friend x

Welovecouscous Fri 30-Nov-12 21:16:19

Sorry that didn't work at all. This is the right link:

www.wikipaintings.org/en/hans-memling/angel-holding-an-olive-branch-1480

Welovecouscous Fri 30-Nov-12 21:15:04

I sent this card when my ex DP's SM had a still-birth. She commented particularly that she had found it very appropriate:

www.google.co.uk/search?q=botticelli+angel+with+olive+branch&hl=en&client=safari&tbo=d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=eyG5UI2NOMnM0AW7iICoDA&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=320&bih=416%23i=14

Maybe something like this or this. Just something simple that acknowledges you are writing about a little baby and they should be getting cards that celebrate that.

hellymelly Fri 30-Nov-12 21:11:25

I agree on sending the condolence card. And writing about how beautiful he looked in the pictures, or anything nice about her little baby, and how sorry you are that they have lost him. Also cooking a meal and delivering it, that kind of thing, really helps when someone is bereaved, especially as she has an older child to look after too. Any little bits of help that she doesn't have to ask for will be really appreciated, there is such a lot to do when someone dies, at a time when one is least able to deal with it.

That poor family. I don't think anything you say in love can possibly upset them more. They've had a terrible thing happen to them.
I wouldn't send a traditional new baby card but if you can find one with a gentle baby type picture. (I'll google in a minute) then you can send it to say that you want to welcome and remember their son,. Say what you feel - that you can't believe this happened, that you are sorry, that you want to help them and promise that you will remember their child. A lot, most in fact, of their friends and family will try not mention this little lad now. Because they don't want to upset them. Well that's awful tbh - imagine how terrible, to lose you child and for it to be for everybody else like he never existed. Remembering him is the greatest gift you can give to these poor parents.

judefawley Fri 30-Nov-12 21:03:18

I have, unfortunately, close experience of this.

I would definitely not send a Congratulations card as this could be seen as extremely insensitive.

I would, however, send a card with a personal message.

Practical help is always welcome ie cooking, babysitting offer for the older child etc.

Welovecouscous Fri 30-Nov-12 21:02:17

I think you should send a condolence card and write to say you saw the pictures of her little one, they were beautiful and you are so very sorry.

Very difficult card to write and so sad sad

NatashaBee Fri 30-Nov-12 20:59:33

I would send the condolence card, and acknowledge her baby's short life in some way - ie rather than just saying 'sorry for your loss', maybe something to say that you're sorry his time here was so short, and that he won't be forgotten.

Baby died at one day old. She'd put photos an excited announcement on Facebook, sent home within a few hours, baby met older brother etc etc. Then-her little boy died. I don't know the cause, haven't asked-it's not really my business. I have text her sending my condolences and telling her if she needs practical help just to ask me.

I've bought a condolences card. I don't know whether to send that, one that says congratulations on your baby boy (because let's face it, she's ha a beautiful son and is nowa mum of two no matter what) or non at all. Don't know what to write in it. Can anyone guide me as I don't want to cause anymore upset.

Thanks in advance

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