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explaining about a brother they never met

(3 Posts)
Anaffaquine Tue 10-Nov-15 13:15:02

My dd is 4 and has experienced a lot of loss in her short life. 2 grandparents and 3 great-grandparents. She was very close to my Granda (her great-Granda) and though he died just before she was 3, she still speaks about him most days.
After his death, I became ill. It is not life-threatening as such but can lead to me being hospitalised.
Dd is obsessed with death and gets very anxious about it.
My problem is that before her, we had a little boy, born very prematurely. He did not make it.
It isn't that we hide away from it but with dd1 being so upset about death, we just don't really talk about him very much.
We have his picture on the sideboard and a star paperweight with his name and dob.
I would like to reintroduce that he existed but I don't want to make a big deal out of everything.
We thought she might start worrying about her little sister who was born early too but is now a robust toddler.
Anyone have any advice? I feel guilty that Archie is forgotten when he is not. I think about him every single day.

Spanglemum Tue 10-Nov-15 16:16:20

I had twins 16 years ago who were born prematurely and didn't make it. I think about them every single day too. I have two children we adopted as babies. My daughter knows about her 'big brothers' and feels sad she hasn't met them. My son has additional needs so doesn't really understand.

Given your daughter's anxiety can you leave it a little while until she asks about the photo or the paperweight? Maybe put them somewhere where they are quite visible if you want her to ask. I can't remember what I told my daughter the first time, sorry. I say 'a long time ago before you were born and came to us, mummy had some babies that were born too early and died'. I'm quite matter of fact and always stress that I wish I could have had them as well as her and her brother.

I don't know if this helps but you're not alone.

Anaffaquine Tue 10-Nov-15 19:45:49

Thank you. Yes, the picture and paperweight have always been and always will be visible.
I suppose in the next couple of years dd1 will get more curious about reading and may ask about the writing on the paperweight. I will just wait and see.
It is so hard to know what is best. It doesn't help that my DS and dd1 share a birthday - 1 year apart, almost to the minute. That date is so bitter sweet for me. It is every emotion possible rolled into one. She might notice her birthday first.

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