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death of a 3 year old

(11 Posts)
thinNigella Tue 04-Oct-11 14:47:46

Someone I know lost their gorgeous little girl last week, following 6 months in hospital involving horrible horrible treatment. Throughout it all they were so strong and inspiring.

I just don't know what to say or how I can help them. I know a little of how they feel but not much and don't want to seem inappropriate or insensitive. I am friends with them but not close (geographically or emotionally)

It is so so sad. Life is unfair and stinks sometimes.

Can anyone advise? Or even just sympathise!?

deemented Tue 04-Oct-11 14:52:26

How tragic.

I think the best thing you could do is perhaps send them a card letting them know you are thinking of them at this time. And then again at the childs birthday, and maybe also at Christmas, when they won't feel like celebrating. Don't forget the child, iyswim?

AKMD Tue 04-Oct-11 14:54:20

That is very sad. I know it can be hard sometimes as you really want to do something to help but just aren't close enough (esp. in emotional terms) to feel able to offer.

If I were you, I would send a card, maybe with a memory of their daughter if you have a nice one to share.

I'm sure other posters with better experience of this sad will be able to give you more advice.

AgentProvocateur Tue 04-Oct-11 14:56:08

How heartbreaking for them. Life is unfair sometimes. My friends lost their two-year-old a few years ago, and it upsets me even now. I wrote a letter, and a few of us got a tree planted in their son's name. (They were from Scotland originally, but lived in Australia, so we got it planted here).

Sadly, we have sort-of lost touch - it was their only child, and they (understandably) went to pieces, and have been out of contact since. We've tried writing, phoning....

Take care of yourself.

thinNigella Tue 04-Oct-11 14:59:45

I just feel so devastated for them, I have a child similar with health issues and it's horrible, miserable.

They have an older daughter (had to break the news to her) and they are expecting another one .... but children are irreplaceable, unique and perfect. I just don't think the loss of a child would ever go away.

Thumbwitch Tue 04-Oct-11 15:06:25

how very very sad for them. sad

Send a card, offer them practical help; go to the funeral if asked, if they're religious offer to light a candle for their DD; talk to them about their DD because lots of people won't.

I know it doesn't sound much, but just be there for them. If you're not geographically close, practical help might be difficult - but if, for e.g. they decide to set up a donation fund in their DD's name (my sister did this for the hospital who successfully treated my DN's brain tumour) you might be able to help with the practicalities of that.

Point them in the direction of the charities that help adults AND children come to terms with the death of a child - someone on here will know the best ones but Winston's Wish is one.

And have a (((hug))) for yourself and your family too - if your own DC has similar health issues then it must be very scary for you that this poor little girl has died.

thinNigella Tue 04-Oct-11 15:27:27

Thankyou. Yes it is scary. I am trying not to get overwhelmed, but I can't help but empathise with them. Loss and illness like this is very isolating; so few people truly understand.

Pagwatch Tue 04-Oct-11 15:31:23

My dd had a friend at nursery who died.
Just awful.
I can't advise. I did not know the little boys parents well so I sent my condolences in a card but that was all.

I do know that mutual friends expressed astonishment how many people, in trying to sympathize, kept talking about thrill own shock to the extent that the parents ended up having to support them.
So that is one to avoid I would think.

thinNigella Tue 04-Oct-11 15:33:44

Yes. I think to a certain extent people are so glad it's not them - understandably - and so dwell. Just slightly inappropriate. I will take the advice of not forgetting the birthdays, anniversaries etc; those will be the hardest of the hard days to come.

sh77 Fri 07-Oct-11 21:33:27

I lost my daughter. All I can say is that there is no right way of supporting someone, however, the immense love and care from those close to us was inspiring. Just being around, text messages, emails, food made life easier at the time. I feel a tad bitter towards those who said nothing. Consequently, friendships ended. Sorry if what I am saying is useless. One bit of advie - do remember the child's birthday and anniversary. I was pretty taken aback by family members who did not remember/acknowledge these dates.

thinNigella Mon 10-Oct-11 09:32:42

Thanks - I have the dates in my diary.

I too feel bitter about those mums 'stupidly' obsessing about what their child wears / school they go to / blah blah.

I just want to scream at them. They are lucky and ignorant of what can truly happen in life. Their smugness makes me so angry. I try not to let it show though, otherwise I'd have no friends...

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