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How to appropriately and sensitively acknowledge the anniversary of the death of my brother's son

(14 Posts)
hmc Thu 03-Sep-09 20:16:27

Am not especially close to my brother - he is 14 years older than me, left home to go to Uni at 18 (when I was 4), and never came back. But we are polite, in intermittent contact, and care about each other in a slightly detached way.

September 23 last year my brother's eldest son died of the very rare - Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (cause unknown). I'd like my brother, SIL and their other children to know that I am thinking about them on the anniversary of their sons death....don't want them to think that everybody else has moved on and forgotten.

What should I do re timing? Which is more sensitive and appropriate - a card sent on September 23 (the first anniversary of his death), or wait until his birthday in October and send a card remembering him then?

FluffySaysTheDailyMailsShite Thu 03-Sep-09 20:18:13

How about sending them a card on the 23rd to say that you are thinking of them?

hmc Thu 03-Sep-09 20:19:42

You think it's better on the 23rd? I guess it is, since presumably that will be when it's most acutely painful (although of course, there isn't a day goes by when they don't feel their loss)

Ponders Thu 03-Sep-09 20:20:21

Oh, how dreadful for them sad

Do send a card with your thoughts on the 23rd, & maybe another on his birthday.

travellingwilbury Thu 03-Sep-09 20:20:30

I am so sorry to hear about your nephew . I would probably do something for both days . In my experience the first anniversary and birthday are both horrendous and it really does matter that other people remember as much as you do ( our first son died when he was 14mths old)

You don't have to do much but honestly a phone call or a lovely card or flowers really will mean a lot .

travellingwilbury Thu 03-Sep-09 20:22:18

I would say that most bereaved parents I have spoken to do find the birthday a particularly hard time . You are supposed to be miserable on the ann butall things being equal the birthday should be a happy time so that can make things worse .

Hulababy Thu 03-Sep-09 20:22:41

I would do both I think, as both dates are important to them.

Ponders Thu 03-Sep-09 20:24:48

I have often wondered that, tw - how can you celebrate a happy birthday when the birthday boy isn't there? It must help though to know that others remember the day he was horrible to lose a child, whatever their age.

hmc Thu 03-Sep-09 20:25:16

Thanks I'll do both. So very sorry wilbury about your first born son. Never quite know what to say to people who have lost a child sad

travellingwilbury Thu 03-Sep-09 20:28:31

Thank you .

Nothing you can say just the acknowledgement is enough .

I am nearly 8 yrs down this shitty path and I do know how hard it is for people on the outside of it to know what to do . The fact you are even worrying about what to do tells me that you will do the right thing .

hmc Thu 03-Sep-09 20:33:31

Thanks Wilbury.....I can't imagine just how shitty that road is. Take care of yourself

travellingwilbury Thu 03-Sep-09 20:37:28

Thank you , and you , your brother will be fine (eventually) but just knowing that you care about his son enough to be brave enough to acknowledge him will really help .

WingedVictory Thu 03-Sep-09 22:36:33

I'm really not sure about which date, so can't comment on that, but did want to say that it must be hard for your brother and his family to feel alone in their grief on these days, since many people around them will have "moved on" and not think tjhat the family has NOT "moved on". If they will be revisiting their mourning anyway, you cannot possibly say anything to make it worse. Thinking of them and acknowledging their feelings is a very good thing to do. Good for you for thinking of them.

chegirl Fri 04-Sep-09 16:35:54

People avoid us on these difficult days. My own mother does. She doesnt phone me because she 'knows I will be upset'. So I feel like everyone has forgotten my DD. There are not many feelings more painful than that.

The first anniversaries are important but the ones in years to come are too. The feeling that your child is slipping away from people's memeories when they will never leave yours, is utterly devastating.

Send a card on both days. You cannot stop you DB from hurting, your cards will not be a reminder of DN's death but a reminder that DN was important.

I am very sorry for your family's loss.

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