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Anniversary of another persons loss - what to do?

(11 Posts)
PresidentTaylor Wed 24-Jun-09 20:07:03

Sorry if this seems like an insensitive question.

A lovely friend of mine gave birth to a baby girl a year ago next week. She was prem and stillborn sad.

She is not a close friend but we mixed in the same ciecles when in our early 20s, and got back in touch again when we heard that we were both pg at the same time with our 1st DCs. Then with this pregnancy we were both pg at the same time and were in contact via text but hadn't met up for a while. My DD was born a week after she lost her baby and so it wasn't possible for me to go and visit. I had no one to watch the children for some time, and obviously couldn't go with my baby. I have tried to keep in touch via text (visited a few times a while after it happened) and even though she doesn't always reply I have carried on doing this. I think she has (understandably) kept to herself a lot during this time.

My question is really, should I send something to mark the birthday of her baby? If she was my best friend I would feel more sure about what to do, but as a less close friend I don't want to overstep the mark/upset her further. Anyone have any good advice for me?

Horton Wed 24-Jun-09 21:46:41

If I were in your place, I think I'd send a card or even just an email or text to tell her you are thinking of her and NameOfBaby and that you would like to see her soon if she wants to meet up. I reckon she would appreciate knowing that others haven't forgotten. I have a friend who lost a baby at birth and she says the most important thing to her is people acknowledging his existence.

pollywobbledoodle Wed 24-Jun-09 21:53:18

the same as horton, i found this kind of acknowledgement very touching

Habbibu Wed 24-Jun-09 21:59:23

Oh, please do. My friend always sends a card on dd1's birthday - she would have been 4 this year. It's wonderful that she never forgets, and means the world to us.

chegirl Wed 24-Jun-09 22:18:33

I can honestly say I am incredibly touched by everything that acknowledges my DD. Every card, mention of her name, donation in her name, everything.

I know that others are often worried that the mention of my girl will upset me and I understand that fear. My biggest fear is that people will forget she ever exsisted.

Maybe a beautiful card with no 'birthday' type message but a handwritten acknowledgement that some days are special and difficult?

PresidentTaylor Thu 25-Jun-09 16:32:50

Thanks all for your replies. I had been thinking along the lines of a neutral card with a message, so glad to have it confirmed that this would be appropriate. Really want to see my friend and have a proper chat (if that's what she wants). The only times we have seen each other there have been other people around and didn't want to get too far past the general pleasantries. She is the just the nicest person and I just feel so sad for her. I cried for days when I found out what had happened.

Also, pollywobbledoodle, Habbibu and chegirl; sorry to hear that you have been through similar to my friend. Can't imagine how awful it must be sad

ninedragons Fri 26-Jun-09 05:23:19

Definitely do - my cousin died when she was 18, 12 years ago now. Every year on her birthday I send my aunt a bunch of sunflowers. She always rings up a bit teary and wobbly when she's got them but it does mean so much to her that people don't forget.

chegirl Fri 26-Jun-09 21:16:41

ninedragons that is lovely. Such a thoughtful thing to do. Only a couple of people mentioned my DD on her last anniversary. I found it heartbreaking. I try to understand but I cant help being so very very upset. Its only been three years.

How wonderful you are still making an effort 12 years on. I know how much that must mean to your aunt.

ninedragons Sat 27-Jun-09 06:37:31

People are so confused around the bereaved. I think this is particularly the case around parents who have lost children, as in your case. It's so rare these days that nobody really has a template for handling it, like they do with an elderly widow. I think a lot of people think they could be re-opening a wound, whereas family experience shows me that it's a wound that never heals so there is no scab to rip off.

Maybe you need to tell your friends, right, I need to celebrate DD's birthday this year. My aunt takes the day off work and goes out with her friends (luckily she has many ladies-who-lunch mates). They have champagne breakfast at a restaurant overlooking the ocean, laugh, cry, get a bit squiffy. It's a hard day for her but I think she feels better than she would if it weren't acknowledged at all.

chegirl Sat 27-Jun-09 22:03:22

I have friends who have lost children and they always remember. I have also met people since I lost DD and they also make an effort.

I think that it will always be upsetting even in 20 years if people do not remember. But its not exactly logical as I dont really expect everyone's life to stand still like mine has.

I agree with the wound thing. It makes me sort of smile to myself (IYSWIM) when people say 'I didnt want to upset you' because how could I be more upset?

Nothing is simple after you loose a child.

mulranno Wed 01-Jul-09 12:08:27

A card is important...I hate texts...do not think they are appropriate..

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