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Present for a heartbroken couple

(50 Posts)
Haarlemmer Wed 26-Nov-14 09:28:49

My brother-in-law and his wife gave birth to a stillborn baby boy last week (at term) and we're all devastated for them. We are due to be with them/see them around Christmas and I would like to get them a special present. Can anyone give me some good ideas?

I've wondered whether to get a personalised Christmas decoration (a star perhaps) with the baby's name on, so that he won't be forgotten. Is this insensitive of me though? I will also try and find something just for the couple.

Thank you in advance.

WildFlowersAttractBees Wed 26-Nov-14 09:34:29

So very sorry to hear that.
A star sounds lovely and very thoughtful.

Depending on budget how about a night away for sometime in the new year.

iamsofuckingfurious Wed 26-Nov-14 09:39:50

Its not insensitive, however it might be too soon for them, I would have crumbled at that in the very early days after losing my child, also they may not be doing decorations, or might feel obliged to put it up, seeing their child's name every day might be too much for them. I would ask before doing this.

You could always find a really beautiful photo frame, then they can decide whether to put their baby's picture in it and when.

I'm very sorry for your families loss, life is just shit and so unfair sometimes thanks

olbas Wed 26-Nov-14 09:40:12

A decoration would be lovely. My Brother did that for us when Ds2 died. It's so special to us.

Haarlemmer Wed 26-Nov-14 09:46:19

Thank you for your input. I should add I was thinking of buying a 'normal present' that could be opened on Christmas day but then gift wrap the decoration (or similar) and tell them to open it in their own time, when they feel ready - giving a hint that it maybe something that would make them cry.

Mollymoofer Wed 26-Nov-14 10:12:49

I wouldn't go with the decoration idea, sorry. I just think there's so much potential for it to go wrong. I think the beautiful picture frame's a good idea though. So sorry for this couple, how devastating for them.

GreenEyedMonster14 Wed 26-Nov-14 10:31:53

The decoration sounds lovely but I think it's too soon. Maybe next christmas? Or name a star? Again for next year.

kelda Wed 26-Nov-14 10:34:40

I made a personalised Christmas decoration for a friend who had lost her child. It wasn't really Christmas-sy. I used cross stitch for the name. She phoned me up to say thank you, very emotional.

amidaiwish Wed 26-Nov-14 10:50:10

what about a memory box?
you can get really nice ones on line, try a touch of verse.co.uk i think that's where i saw them.
i like the star decoration idea, but haven't experienced this, so my opinion not very valid here.

Shedding Wed 26-Nov-14 10:52:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BaroquePearl Wed 26-Nov-14 10:58:02

I know how they are feeling, sadly, and my heart goes out to them. Personally I would have appreciated the decoration very much, any chance to see my baby's name written is so precious and it would have gone some tiny way towards making it feel as though he hadn't been forgotten on what should have been his first Christmas. His absence will feel shocking, unbelievable and just horribly wrong. Every time we got a Christmas card which made no mention of our son, my heartbroken a little more at the injustice of it all.

Personally I wouldn't want a frame, which would feel like it was telling me I had to do something, or a memory box. For me, those were things we wanted to choose and decide about for ourselves. I like the decoration idea because it doesn't demand anything of them. But everyone's different. You sound like a lovely friend flowers.

noitsachicken Wed 26-Nov-14 10:59:20

I bought my friend who lost her little girl a wooden heart with the babies name and DOB on (it wasn't xmas). She appreciated it I think.

Treats Wed 26-Nov-14 11:07:13

Our son died shortly after being born three years ago - it should have been his birthday this Sunday. The day before we put the tree up that year, my DH took our DD to the Christmas market in our town and got an angel decoration for the tree with his name on - it's still very special to me.

What BaroquePearl said about seeing his name written down - he won't ever have a passport or a library card or a little red book from the health visitor. So the little mementos that 'belong' to him are very important.

I think the gift will be appreciated. Even if they don't want to put it on their tree or do anything with it, they will know you were thinking of them.

BaroquePearl Wed 26-Nov-14 11:35:12

Treats, you describe the importance of the seeing written name so beautifully. flowers

BaroquePearl Wed 26-Nov-14 11:36:15

Argh, I can't get my typing right today. You get the idea.

RJnomore Wed 26-Nov-14 11:38:33

What about actually naming a star after him? Is that a rubbish idea?

acharmofgoldfinches Wed 26-Nov-14 12:01:27

So sorry for your family's loss, I know it will be very hard to bear, especially at Christmas.

I think the decoration idea is lovely, a star would be nice, or maybe an angel.

Personally I found framed photos very difficult after we lost our baby - there were lots of photos round the house of children (from the wider family) and I really struggled with that, having no one to have a photo of...but a few years later we gave a friend who lost his little boy a leather travel photo frame - and he loved it and now carries it everywhere with him.

It is so very tricky because what comforts one person will make another crumble...

Whatever you get them, your idea of saying they can open the present now or later is spot on - it means they know you are thinking of them, but also gives them space to deal with their emotions when they want/need to. There will be moments when they just want to hide from the pain, and moments when they need to disappear into it. And moments when they don't have a choice either way.

You mention seeing them around Christmas - they might want to see everyone, or they might not want to do Christmas at all, just let them do whatever they need to do.

Either way a small gift to remember their baby boy would be very thoughtful - bitter-sweet but a small comfort at a very dark time.

HoHoHappyHolidays Wed 26-Nov-14 12:08:13

If I was in your position:

I would ask my brother-in-law what to do for the best. He obviously knows his wife best and would give the best advice- that way there is less chance of hurting her feelings on Christmas day.

JamNan Wed 26-Nov-14 12:47:04

Did they take imprints of his hands and feet? What about a hand made wooden photo frame to put a poem, his name or the imprints in? You could design it like a triptych with little doors that close.

I like the idea of naming a real star.

Or plant a tree?

It's important to talk about the baby.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 26-Nov-14 12:57:08

HoHo the BiL's feelings will be just as raw as his wife's.

I think a Christmas decoration is a lovely idea. My best friend lost a child, this is the sort of gesture that meas a lot to her.

YouAreBoring Wed 26-Nov-14 12:57:33

I'd suggest your DH speak to his brother and ask. It's hard to guess what the 'right' thing to do is.

Personally, I would send a bunch of white flowers and a lovely card but I wouldn't do anything else. I wouldn't like a decoration or a star or whatever. It's such a personal thing and everyone is different. Not everyone wants to talk and that's ok if it's what you want.

Whatever happens I'm sure the baby isn't going to be forgotten.

Castlemilk Wed 26-Nov-14 13:00:12

A person once did the naming a star thing for us - I hate to say it felt like a bit of something and nothing. All that was actually 'there' was a certificate which wasn't attractive enough to frame. It actually felt like a moneyspinner idea plucked off the internet rather than something 'real'.

I like very much the idea of a personalised decoration, definitely something with his name on, and beautiful. I also like the idea of other than that having a normal, if carefully chosen, present, and giving the decoration separately, saying that this is something bought for them with X in mind as he is obviously foremost in your thoughts right now. Then they can open it separately.

So sorry to hear of your family's loss.

JamNan Wed 26-Nov-14 13:02:36

Idea for picture frame
here

Agrestic Wed 26-Nov-14 13:02:50

Decoration is a great idea.

JamNan Wed 26-Nov-14 13:07:15

Not sure that link worked. If this one doesn't work go to the website and type in 'picture frame' in the search box
try again here

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