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To just not want to see this (Facebook related)

(83 Posts)
LilyontheLeaf Fri 05-Jul-13 17:27:15

I genuinely can't decide if IABU or not.

My friend's son was stillborn five years ago. I cannot begin to imagine her pain and her continued suffering.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of his death. She has changed her profile picture to a picture of her son.

It just popped up on my newsfeed. I found the image of a dead child really distressing.

I of course respect her right to grieve in any way she wishes, and of course I would never ever say anything directly to her about this. I know my feelings of distress are nothing in comparison to hers.

But I really really wish she hadn't done it. I can't get that little face out of my mind.


SaucyJack Fri 05-Jul-13 18:55:59

Ah no, YABVU. He was a person too, and she has a much right as any of us to put a picture of her son up as her profile pic.

It's hard to explain without sounded like a knob, but when a friend showed me a picture of her stillborn daughter, I felt honoured and proud not disgusted.

katiecubs Fri 05-Jul-13 19:02:21

YABU - she's still hurting and always will. Perhaps it's worse now so much time has passed and other people have started to forget.

LilacBreastedRoller Fri 05-Jul-13 19:03:23

Travellingwilbury and Lunatic have written much of what I wanted to say better than I could. Babies who are stillborn are distinctive individual family members, just as much as children who are luckier. I would know my son anywhere, he was beautiful and I am hugely proud of him. I don't use Facebook so I wouldn't choose to share his pictures in that way, but nothing hurts more than the feeling that people would rather 'steer clear' of him in some way, or pretend he wasn't a real person but rather some kind of mistake to be hushed up. If you are really this woman's friend in any meaningful way you need to grow up and accept that this is how the world is for lots of people, even if most would prefer to stick their heads in the sand.

The way you have framed your feelings is not particularly kind. The choice of AIBU, the thread title about "not wanting to see this", and then the indication "Facebook related" are hardly sensitive. I understand that our society is full of wilful ignorance and taboos which make pictures like this unfamiliar territory, but most bereaved parents are happy to help people work out how to understand their friends' relationships with their missing children. If you really wanted to explore your feelings with any delicacy there are many more sympathetic ways you could have gone about it. I really hope she doesn't see this thread.

Jubelteen Fri 05-Jul-13 19:04:27

Of course I understand that a father is different to a child, and I've got lots of other pics to choose from. I also think it depends on who your FB friends are, if it includes randoms you haven't seen for years I wouldn't want them seeing such precious pics. I understand that your friend would like everyone to take a minute to remember her baby tomorrow, just not how I would do it but each to their own.

needaholidaynow Fri 05-Jul-13 19:07:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LynetteScavo Fri 05-Jul-13 19:12:35

You found it distressing???

How fucking distressing do you think your friend finds it?

LynetteScavo Fri 05-Jul-13 19:13:09

Such a photo would make me feel damn bloody grateful.

MickeyMouseHasGrownUpACow Fri 05-Jul-13 19:15:32


ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Fri 05-Jul-13 19:17:44

YANBU to feel however you feel. We can't help our feelings. But surely you can get past your feelings of discomfort and see that your friend has to live with the loss of her child? I can't imagine having to go through and live with anything worse, tbh. The only compassionate response to such a photograph being shared is kind acknowledgement, eg 'Thinking of you x' or 'Beautiful x'. Just some little comment to show that you've seen the picture, you understand the motivation for posting it and you remember.

mrspaddy Fri 05-Jul-13 19:19:04

I don't think YABU. Facebook is very, very public. However, it is her choice to make. God help the woman .. she must be suffering so much. I can't imagine wanting to put the photo up on such a site but if it is a comfort to her, it is respectful to try and understand her need to do it.

ivykaty44 Fri 05-Jul-13 19:22:00

Op you need to put your own feelings aside as a child that has passed away is distressing and far more than just distressing, so your distress is nothing like her distress.

I have been into homes where there have been photographs on the wall of babies that are dead, this must be a comfort to the parents and it is not my place to tell them how to behave in their own home as I am a visitor. What that photograph says to me or how it makes me feel is unimportant, it doesn't harm me in any way.

expatinscotland Fri 05-Jul-13 19:24:27

Yes, YABU. Life is not

coppertop Fri 05-Jul-13 19:29:27

If posting that picture has given her even a single moment of comfort, then surely that alone makes it worthwhile?


quoteunquote Fri 05-Jul-13 19:41:50

Hardest job in the world being the parent of a dead child.

I found the image of a dead child really distressing

It is ,isn't it, live isn't all roses, sorry.

What you feel about it is only a gram to her ten tons, use that feeling and try to relate to her journey.

Either be a friend and find something positive to say, and help her celebrate his memory ,

Or de friend and hope to hell you never have to face anything tough.

Five years, so he would of started school this year, tough year then.

BeehavingBaby Fri 05-Jul-13 19:46:14

I have a FB acquaintance who does this very occasionally and I always find it lovely to see one if the very few pictures that she has of her baby, especially as she has many other children who fill her FB feed so vibrantly, it slightly offsets the overwhelming sense that one of the children is missing. I think YABsoU tbh.

janowicz Fri 05-Jul-13 20:00:28

Learn some empathy.

matchpoint Fri 05-Jul-13 20:01:24

YANBU, OP. Of course, as you are now finding out, is that there's no way to raise a complaint about this without looking heartless. You're definitely in a no-win situation here.

IMO, everyone, no matter what age, deserves dignity in death. I do not find it dignified to display images of a corpse in a FB profile picture. It is trivializing.

I have to wonder how people who are pregnant, or have also suffered loss feel when they are confronted with a photo like that.

BridgetBidet Fri 05-Jul-13 20:05:12

It would upset me but to be honest things do upset you in your life and it would just feel to me like I was having a little grieve for her baby which is probably what she wanted. She wanted people to remember her little baby and be sad that he wasn't in the world and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

cupofteaplease Fri 05-Jul-13 20:06:02

Wow. I'm sure she'd rather show current pictures of her child. These are the only pictures of him she can share, and why shouldn't she be proud of her child?
As a mother of a dead child, I think you are YABU. But the general consensus may be very different of course.

landofsoapandglory Fri 05-Jul-13 20:08:55


Imagine only having those pictures of your baby, their foot and hand prints, a lock of hair. You can't? Nor can I, and I am forever grateful for that!

Give the woman a break, she should be having a special day with her child, holding a birthday party, and doing presents, balloons and party bags, FGS!

numbum Fri 05-Jul-13 20:18:26

Yabu. If you dont like it then block her. Because I can tell you now that photo will be back next year and the year after and for many years to come.

mynameisslimshady Fri 05-Jul-13 20:24:05

Imagine for one moment if you were showing pictures of your child to your friends and they all recoiled in horror because they didn't like what they saw. Imagine ever time you mentioned your childs name for 5 long years all you have is people changing the subject or looking shifty and embarrassed because they don't know what to say.

Your 'image of a dead child' is her picture of her beloved son, those pictures are the only memories she has of him, and when she looks at them she doesn't see 'a dead child' she sees her precious baby, who is as beautiful to her as any child is to their parent.

Do you think that she should hide his pictures away like some dirty little secret so other people don't feel a slight discomfort at being faced with a tiny percentage of the pain she has been faced with for 5 years?

Instead of being concerned about yourself and being faced with a picture that you wouldn't have chosen to see try showing a little understanding, send her a message, leave a comment, call her, send a card anything rather than starting a very insensitive thread on a public forum about your feelings on her sons photo, think about her feelings about her sons anniversary.


phantomnamechanger Fri 05-Jul-13 20:27:22

It is almost 10 years since our DD was stillborn, but reading this thread has made me sob and want to go and look in our memories box - a few photos, hand and foot prints, the sympathy cards we received, some lovely poems about infant loss, and a single dried flower from her funeral posy.

If doing this helps her in anyway, despite knowing that some people will judge her and find it hard to approach the subject, then let her be and good luck to her.

The more we accept that these things happen, the more we talk about them, the better parents will cope. Gone, I hope, are the days when it was hushed up and never talked about.

For all those who have lost babies - hugs sad

Towanda Fri 05-Jul-13 20:32:13

I wish you didn't have to see it. I wish that mum was showing off pictures of her beloved son celebrating his birthday and not having to spend each day longing to do just that. Longing to hold him one more time, to smell him, to feel his weight in her arms. Not living each day with the pain of having a dead child instead of a living one.

Your discomfort at seeing a photo is fleeting, the pain for those of us living without one or more of our children is for life. Yabu.

BridgetBidet Fri 05-Jul-13 20:32:28

Think for a moment as well, you would know that child and you would probably have babysat and the child might have played with your children. So really it should be upsetting for you to see the picture, but not because it's a dead baby, but because it's a little friend you lost too.

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