What to write in a condolence card?

(19 Posts)
MilkNoSugarPlease Sun 19-Sep-10 20:40:14

Friend (good friend) went into labour on Fri morning, they lost the heartbeat in the afternoon and baby was stillborn

I've written 12 different things to write in the card (before I copy it into the card) and nothing says what I want it to say, nothing looks "Right" it just doesnt convey how sorry I am and how bloody unfair it is

can someone help please

OP’s posts: |
Northernlurker Sun 19-Sep-10 20:43:56

I've done this twice in the last 12 months. I've said how sorry I am, how sad we are that we will never meet that child but that they are still part of their family and so part of ours. I've made one or two practical suggestions. I've cried a lot doing them.

It's unfair, horribly unfair - and the stuff of nightmares. Just say that - and that you love them and you won't forget this loss.

fiestabelle Sun 19-Sep-10 20:50:22

Happened to a good friend of mine, very difficult to know what to write, but I do remember her saying that she kept some cards, and that the ones she chose to keep were the ones that werent specific "sympathy" cards, ie pre-printed bereavement cards, I remember agonising over what type of card to get, and ended up with a blank card, with a simple flower on the front. As for the message, think I wrote something along the lines of how sorry we were, and that baby (using her name tho) was blessed to have them as parents, and that she would never ever be forgotten, it is over a year now and I am crying just at the memory of it, devastating and tragic for them.

MilkNoSugarPlease Sun 19-Sep-10 20:56:31

Thanks both

So sorry you've also had to write these cards...it's really really bloody shit isn't it

I still dont know what to write...it either looks completly OTT or to empty

bought a lovely card today, very plain white with a black and white picture of a flower on...didnt want a pre-printed card...wanted to write it myself...just no idea what to write

OP’s posts: |
deemented Sun 19-Sep-10 21:02:10

Sometimes there just are no words, iyswim.

Can i just say a couple of things though, if you don't mind? When ds1 died i got the most comfort from a card that i received after his funeral - it simply said that they were tinking of me now that everything was over and done with, and as everyone else gets on with their own lives, and i found that so touching, because it's true - everything was really hectic in the run up to the funeral and once it was over we were left on our own to get on with things.

Another things would be just say the baby's name - don't be worried about upsetting your friend simply by saying her childs name - it hurts more not to hear it spoken, and remember the baby's birthday - make a point of sending a card every year, just to let your friend know you haven't forgotten.

I'm really sorry that your friend has to go theough this, it's awful, incomprehensible.

fiestabelle Sun 19-Sep-10 21:03:51

It is awful, your friend will really need you in the months ahead and she will appreciate your words no matter what you write. Have they chosen a name for the baby? If so, I think its nice to refer to the baby by name in your message? Go with your instinct though, she is your friend so you will know what type of person she is?

fiestabelle Sun 19-Sep-10 21:09:00

deemented, hope I'm not intruding into a personal thing, but friend has just passed the first anniversary of her baby's death, was a stillbirth, I did send a card, but wasnt sure how to refer to the day itself, think I settled on "????'s special day" rather than birthday, I think I maybe overthink everything, but I just always worry that I will say or do the wrong thing, but I dont ever want to NOT mention her daughter and things like her birthday, her birth etc. I would just be interested to hear it from your perspective?

MilkNoSugarPlease Sun 19-Sep-10 21:14:04

Thanks Dee, Sorry you had to go through it I was thinking of sending a card now, then another card and flowers a week or so after the funeral?

Will Definitely use her name when I can, in the card etc

Thanks Fiesta


I found walking past the "Congratulations on the birth of your baby" cards, much harder then I thought...I'm supposed to be buying one of them, not a "Sorry your baby died when you were only a few hours from holding her in your arms"

OP’s posts: |
deemented Sun 19-Sep-10 21:15:53

It's really lovely that you care so much to want to remember.

Sadly, my son's 6th Birthday just passed and not one person - not one - spoke his name aloud on that day. Not one. It hurt me more then i will ever let people know - the people i love couldn't speak of him, my dad, my sister, even the bloody manshape - didn't say his name aloud. Of course, when i questioned them about it, i got the 'Oh i didn't want to bring it all up for you or upset you' But saying something - anything - would have been better then saying nothing at all.

I'm really glad your friend has someone in their life like you, fiestabelle smile

Northernlurker Sun 19-Sep-10 21:16:38

Milk - I can't believe this happened to our friends either. Their children should be HERE and we should know them. How can it be that we don't and never can? A terrible, terrible loss that can never be fixed. I can't really accept it tbh - and I cannot begin to think about they can and will.

deemented Sun 19-Sep-10 21:17:52

Milk - that sounds perfect. You're a good friend.

SgtAngua Sun 19-Sep-10 21:21:12

I really struggled too, when I had to write to a friend after her stillbirth. I remember thinking that everything I wrote just looked cliched & inadequate. In the end I wrote that I was so very sorry that they had lost DC4, that I was sad we would never get to know him but that we would not forget him, that I could only imagine their pain.
I also offered more practical stuff, like taking the other DCs off her hands if she needed it, an ear on the end of the phone or a shoulder in RL.

fiestabelle Sun 19-Sep-10 21:23:21

dee I am so sorry for your loss, you must miss him terribly. It is one of the saddest things I have ever dealt with, so cannot comprehend how parents begin to deal with it, my friend has since gone on to have another beautiful little baby who is bringing them a lot of happiness, but I know she thinks about her daughter every single day. My friend was always very clear from the outset that she always wanted her daughter talked about, and remembered openly so I think everyone has been led by her, I suppose everyone deals with the situation differently.

fiestabelle Sun 19-Sep-10 21:26:33

milk, when my friend lost her daughter, she asked that people gave donations to the hospital's stillbirth unit, as she received a lot of support from them, rather than flowers, but again, flowers are a personal thing and you will know her best. She is lucky to have you, and will appreciate your support and thoughtfulness.

onimolap Sun 19-Sep-10 21:35:26

Do find out the baby's name before you write, and use it.

My DS1 died neonatally nearly 12 years ago, and I kept all the cards and letters. Even though I don't look at them, they're in a special box and I'm glad they exist. A version if what you wrote in your OP - about how sorry you are and how bloody unfair it is will be fine.

I was really touched that one person who had been a close colleague a few years before his birth, but whom I'd list contact with, send one line from the other side of the world where she was then living: it was via a mutual friend and simply said "Can you find [Oni] and tell her how bloody sorry I am". That meant so much.

It's also good advice to make a note if the date and remember X's day in future years. Only my mother, my sister and one good friend do that for DS1. Typing this has made me think that this year I must remember to tell them how much it means.

I'd suggest leaving any offers of practical help to phone calls or emails. But do make them - just knowing there are people to whom you can talk to about your darling DC is also very important.

domesticslattern Sun 19-Sep-10 21:56:25

Another MN tip is don't send a Merry Christmas card this year. Write something like "wishing you a peaceful Christmas".

I was glad for that reminder as I nearly made an arse of myself sending a jolly Christmas card to a friend who had had a stillbirth weeks before. These cretinous things are easily done. blush

MilkNoSugarPlease Sun 19-Sep-10 22:55:25

Thank you all

OP’s posts: |
MilkNoSugarPlease Mon 20-Sep-10 22:51:19

I honestly am at a loss as to what to write...how is this? crap?

I'm so sorry for the loss of beautiful baby **, I know nothing I say can make it better, and I can't even begin to imagine hat your going through, but please know, even before ** was born, she was loved by everyone, she is a beautiful star no, a star that will always be in our hearts and our memories.

Always Always here, to lend you an ear or a shoulder

Milk
xxxxxxx

OP’s posts: |
SassySusan Mon 20-Sep-10 23:04:12

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