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Is there an appropriate gift for friend on her little boys Birthday?

(11 Posts)
loveulotslikejellytots Thu 03-Sep-15 10:50:20

My friend lost her little boy last year, he was only 4 weeks old. His Birthday is coming up and I just wondered what/if I could get her and her Husband. I dont want to ignore it, I know she has struggled with friends and family glazing over the fact his Birthday is coming up.

I was thinking of taking a bunch of flowers round like I would for her Birthday, but it's his first Birthday. I feel like I want to get something more meaningful. Can anyone help?

I was also wondering whether to get their other 2 children (my godchildren) a little gift, they are 10 and 6. His passing really upset them (obviously), but I think the 10 year old took it harder than the 6 year old. He was only 5 at the time and I dont think he quite understood fully what had happened. I dont want to upset them.

sugar21 Thu 03-Sep-15 10:54:09

I lost dd2 at 17 months and I think flowers would be lovely. For the other children possibly a small teddy/ furry toy to leave at the poor little ones grave. My condolences to your friend and her familyflowers

FadedRed Thu 03-Sep-15 11:02:25

I dont want to upset them.
You are not upsetting them, Op, they are upset because of what happened.
Whilst not everyone is the same, most bereaved people find it more upsetting when things are ignored or glossed over, as if by not acknowledging it, it will 'go away' or be forgotten. Which of course it never will be.
Flowers for the mum would be lovely, with a card maybe 'thinking of you' type of message. As for gifts for the siblings, then I think you know the children better than anyone on the Internet and if you think this is a good idea, then go for it- maybe some money to spend on what they would like, or a voucher for a day out somewhere, or something they could play with, whatever you think is best.
You sound a very supportive friend.

meditrina Thu 03-Sep-15 11:05:27

I think the single most important thing to can do is simply show that you remember.

So I'd suggest a letter or other message (by phone, email, anything really) to the parents. And adding flowers, or something like chocolate which can be shared with the children, would be fine too.

I'd ask the parents to convey your message to their other DC, so they can make it fit the emotional temperature of the individuals on the day. You could write in a way that they might choose to show to them, or just ask them to pass on your thoughts in any way they want to.

loveulotslikejellytots Thu 03-Sep-15 11:20:48

faded I meant more about upsetting the children. While I know they haven't forgotten their little Brother, they have come such a long way in getting back to what is 'normal' for them. From what my friend has said I dont think either of them will remember (without prompting) that it's their Brothers Birthday soon. I wouldn't want to stir up everything they went through last year by bringing it up in the form of a gift.

I think i'll go with the flowers then. Maybe some chocolate that they can share with the kids too.

Sugar Little one hasn't got a grave as such, they have his ashes at home otherwise i'd get something for there.

FadedRed Thu 03-Sep-15 11:48:31

Loveulots hope I didn't sound anything but supportive here Op, I think you are being such a good friend here.
A year is a long time for children, especially for the younger one, that I see what you mean about them.

loveulotslikejellytots Thu 03-Sep-15 11:59:55

Of course not faded, I just wasn't clear in my original message, thats all.

sugar21 Thu 03-Sep-15 12:12:21

Right so no grave, in which case flowers for your friend and ask her what is appropriate for her dc. It's very difficult to think of something without knowing the family but a day out voucher sounds nice. At least you are thinking of them all and realise what a sad day it will be. I found that friends would be treading very carefully for fear of saying/doing/buying the wrong thing. Really all I needed was people to remember dd2 and acknowledge the fact she existed. So you are a good friend for being thoughtful.
I hope your friend and her family are bearing up.

YellowDinosaur Wed 09-Sep-15 17:07:02

I have close friends whose first dd was stillborn. They raised a lot of money at the time of her birth for a local hospital charity in her name. Every year since I've added a small donation on her birthday, which they then get an email about. I know they really appreciate this and it is something that their other children wouldn't be aware of of that is a worry. Would something like this for a relevant charity and a card letting them know be an option? In my friends case the charity did loads for them at the time that made an awful experience more bearable, so they really like the fact that they've been able to help others going through the same.

I do agree with meditrina though that it's really showing them that their beloved child is not forgotten that's the most important thing, so whatever you decide to do I'm sure it will be appreciated.

greengoose Mon 19-Oct-15 19:43:59

When my little girl Merryn died my two boys were 9 and 4. I completely underestimated how important it was for them that we openly talk about her, and remember her important days with them. I think my struggle with seeing them in pain and grieving made them 'cope' outwardly, while actually they really needed these grieving rituals more than I did.
Three years on, my now 13 and 8 year olds talk about Merryn often. Would she be this tall? Would she have liked Peppa Pig? Do you think she'd have liked pink? Or football? And they cry when we go to her spot, but that's ok, they are sad.
I think one of the most revealing things I have been told about loss in childhood compared to adulthood is that as an adult we grieve as adults, but as children grow they grieve as 5,6,7,8,9 years olds, until they are adults, and each stage of development brings a different need and different questions and different ways of coping and understanding. This has certainly been true for my boys.
One of there biggest fears is that Merryn is forgotten. One lovely friend of mine cycled to our house with her son and a potted primrose she had dug from her garden and written a lovely note on the pot. My son was so pleased. He watered the plant, and eventually helped plant it outside. He had a very matter o fact chat about his sister, and how she would be three, and then got on with playing.
You sound lovely, whatever you do will be deeply appreciated. They are lucky to have you in their lives.

lastqueenofscotland Tue 20-Oct-15 07:56:24

I think a bunch of flowers is a lovely idea.

If you live nearby could you offer to take the kids out for a day? Even just on their bikes for a few hours. Give them something nice to do and if mum wants/needs to be alone with her thoughts offers her that too? Obviously check with her people react to things differently. But when my father died I just wanted to be alone for years. My mother on the otherhand couldn't bear it.

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