Advanced search

two any parent that has lost a child, what do you say when you are asked how many children you have?

(33 Posts)
diamondlizard Sat 08-Mar-14 22:49:06

this is something im struggling with atm

as i feel if i mention my ds who died, it changes the whole atmosphere

yet if i dont mention him and say i have two, i feel guilty, sometimes for days

JeanSeberg Sat 08-Mar-14 23:09:39

Sincere condolences to you first of all.

I haven't lost a child but if I asked you how many children you have and you included the one that had passed away I would feel honored that you felt able to do so and admire you for keeping their memory alive. I'm sorry that hasn't been your experience.

(I also hope I haven't said anything insensitive in this post and you didn't mind me putting my two pennies' worth forward.)


Mojito100 Sun 09-Mar-14 05:50:27

Diamond lizard, I thought It was phrased beautifully on another thread where the individual said she had been blessed with 4 sons but two have died. It is a hard one to answer.

Jean - I thought your post was lovely and had never thought someone would appreciate having this terrible news shared with them in this way. I'm going to carry that forward with me rather than feeling awkward when I answer the question. I'll assume this is how people feel (even though some won't) as it will give me the confidence to present it properly.

diamondlizard Sun 09-Mar-14 09:04:24

Jean thats a really nice way to look at it

mo thanks

Borntobeamum Sun 09-Mar-14 17:13:29

If I asked and you said you'd lost a child, I'd ask how old they were, what was their name, but I'd also be worried about coming across as being nosy.
I'd hate you make you feel uncomfortable, but at what point do I stop asking?
With living children, conversations seem to be sorry of on going, but with children who have passed, it's not as simple.
This had probably come across as all gobble de gook!

Borntobeamum Sun 09-Mar-14 17:14:09

Sort Not Sorry x

everlong Sun 09-Mar-14 17:27:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mum1369 Sun 09-Mar-14 17:37:09

It's a tough one, but I have found it easier as time has gone by. I used to struggle with 'denying her' as you said
But now it just depends on who is asking, and if it's someone I'm never going to see again, I just don't want to get into it - the people I talk to about her, are the people I trust
Also, I now feel that whatever I say or do isn't going to change the way I feel about my daughter, so saying I have two children (when in fact I have three) doesn't mean I feel any less for her.
It does still jar though

expatinscotland Sun 09-Mar-14 17:37:59

I say I had three, but I have two.

Ludways Sun 09-Mar-14 18:00:19

My dh says he has 3 when he's had 4 but one died, he doesn't feel he's dismissing his ds1 as it's no one else's business, he's fiercely private and would feel uncomfortable sharing that information. Nothing will ever undermine his feeling for his son, he knows what's truly in his heart.

Sorry for your loss.

olbasoil Sun 09-Mar-14 21:20:26

Ds2 will always be ds2. When people ask how many children do you have I say I have had 5. Please don't feel guilty, you must do whatever makes you feel comfortable.

LydiaLunches Sun 09-Mar-14 21:52:08

I am so sorry for your loss. A bereaved friend of mine says 'I have had 6 children' but I know dreads the question. I talk to old ladies on the bus a lot (been a SAHM a lot, can't drive) and sadly often they have lost a child and tell me when my lot remind them of their childrearing years. I don't feel uncomfortable, I feel honoured that they were able to say and, can't think of the right word, but happy for want of a better one, that the child is remembered.

thedaymylifestoodstill Mon 10-Mar-14 11:45:38

Hey Diamond.

I agree with what Mojito said from the other thread - I think I will adopt that saying too. I will say that I've been blessed with three but only have two living.

I have decided that should anyone feel uncomfortable, then tough. A second of discomfort as compared to what I'm feeling? Tough. I talk about my daughter all the time to people and if people think I'm the crazy lady who can't get over it, then I think 'ok'. I can't get over it.

However, I've also decided a new strategy as well (yet to be tested). If anyone ignores my DC if I talk about her and they've got living children, I will ignore their children and change the subject whenever they talk about them. I'm sure they'll get the hint then.

I'm feeling a bit angry today. Sorry if that doesn't help much, but you've nothing to be ashamed of my love and sometimes it doesn't matter if people feel uncomfortable as you may not even see the people again. Does that make sense?! Although, having said that, I'm saying all that now, as if I really don't care but if it came to it I would probably hide away, not say what I wanted to say and then cry.

Sending you lots of love.

How are you doing, anyway?

twinklesunshine Mon 10-Mar-14 15:47:44

I say I've had 4. People don't tend to pick up on the weird tense. If pressed I will say that my oldest is 7 and just leave it there. I have once said that I had 4, but I've only got 3 now. It's hard isnt it xxx

MrsVamos Mon 10-Mar-14 15:52:52

I have 2 children who are alive, and a little boy who was stillborn nearly 11 years ago.

If anyone asks, I have 3 children. If they ask further, I explain. In general, people completely understand.


Sillylass79 Mon 10-Mar-14 16:02:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

diamondlizard Mon 10-Mar-14 17:32:48

thanks for the replies

i know people generally understand and are sympathetic
but sometimes i dont want there understanding and sympathy
i just want to go into the supermarket, get my shopping and be left well alone
im not as open as i used to be

ive tried lots of answers to the question
and none sit right

if it someone im likely to see again, i always tell them as it would be strange in a way not too

however im talking about random people you meet in the street etc

i get what others are saying though as if my dh is asked he always says two and he says he doesnt feel bad about it
i dont think blokes get asked quite the same amount as women though

diamondlizard Mon 10-Mar-14 17:37:42

the day
hey, im doing ok,ish i think
struggling a bit but whats new eh

ive updated on the thread

how are you doing?
a bit of angry is not always a bad thing and i like your response to other that change the subject, to do the same to them

i dont know, its likethe older i get the more fucked up i become!
i though you were suppose to get older tougher and wiser

and i agree with the saying what doesnt kill you makes you stronger
more like what doesnt kill you makes you weirder

Doobydoo Mon 10-Mar-14 17:42:40

Agree with the weirder!
Iused to say 3 now I say 2.
Itmay be because my 2 sons donotknow re daughter...diff dads

mumof2teenboys Tue 11-Mar-14 10:28:26

I tend to say that I have a son of 21 and a son of 22 year old who died 20 months ago.

It is a bit blunt but so far has worked ok for me.

LilyTheSavage Sat 29-Mar-14 18:22:43

I'm trying a variety of answers. At the moment the one that sits most comfortably is "I had three sons but now have two". Really hard to know what to say. Do you deny the one that died or do you go for the easy option and just say two??? When somebody gets the perfect answer please let me know.

Deborah51 Sat 29-Mar-14 20:57:50

I have 3 daughters, one of whom passed away 3 years ago, I always say I have 3 girls, even sign her name on cards but only family ones as I'm sure some people would think I'm unhinged, can't bear thought of not including her anymore.

cupofteaplease Sat 29-Mar-14 21:14:13

I say I've had 3 daughters or I have 3 daughters. If it's a passing conversation, I feel relieved when people don't ask about ages etc so I don't have to explain that dd3 died at 13 months.

MyNameIsAnAnagram Sat 29-Mar-14 21:49:34

I haven't lost a child but I have lost a sibling and I struggled with being asked if I am an only child. I lost my sibling age 7 so in a lot of ways I am an only child but I hate saying so as I feel it is betraying him somehow.

I find that my answer varies depending on who is asking and my mood, sometimes I just don't feel up yo that conversation.

MultipleMama Sun 30-Mar-14 14:43:38

I haven't lost a child and cannot even begin to imagine the pain and hurt you must feel. Like Jean said, I would be honored that someone felt like they could talk about their child/ren with me.

My auntie lost two children (triplets), when asked she always answered and still answers, "I was blessed with 3, but the angels recruited 2."

My cousin is now 27 when asked about siblings he says, "I have 2 guardian angels, x and x."


Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now