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Need some advice - how do you acknowledge loss to someone in denial?

Forum: Stillbirth


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January 11th, 2010, 04:13 PM
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My BIL and SIL lost their only baby girl (they have four boys) three years ago at 24 weeks of pregnancy due to Trisomy 18. At the time that Sarah Grace passed away they had a little funeral service, showed her little outfit and cute little footprints, etc. I also got my SIL a pregnancy loss necklace with her initials, birthstone, and little footprint on it and sent it to her.

They have since had another little baby - a little boy this time. But I still think about little Sarah Grace all the time and I would love to let them know that she is in my thoughts and that I still consider her family, my children's little cousin.

They haven't talked about her to any of the family since the month she died. Maybe they're not ready or it's just too painful, I don't know. I have seen my BIL watch my daughter playing with a very sad look on his face. My daughter is a year younger than Sarah Grace would have been and it breaks my heart. Girls are SUPER rare in my dh's family. I do know their sons have had a very difficult time (she was a later in life baby, they have three older boys, including one that's 23 now). One of their sons is even on antidepressants and has mentioned many times that he wants to talk to them about his sister but they never have ever addressed her death with them and they won't talk about it even now. They also chose not to keep any of the pictures they had of her, they threw them all out.

I've learned from all you wonderful mamas how important it is to verbalize my thoughts about her little baby girl. And I just feel the need to tell them how I feel about little Sarah Grace, that she is remembered and loved. When asked how many cousins my kids have I always include her.

But at the same time...what do you do if they don't want to talk about her or acknowledge her to anyone else? I know I can't even begin to put myself in their shoes so I'm not in any way judging them . They're doing what they need to to cope with a devastating loss. I'm just looking for advice as to how to handle it. Do I say something or I do I just go along with them and not talk about her? I just feel weird about not acknowledging Sarah or talking about her because I care about her so much...
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January 11th, 2010, 04:27 PM
Brittanie's Avatar just me
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 43,573
I don't know, this is a hard situation. But you know what? How can you be angry with someone for caring? I think I'd write a letter, something they could read in private, to deal with on their own terms. That way they don't even have YOU there to feel awkward about.

Best of luck.
Thanks to babydoll213 for the siggy! My kids' blog Cora's blog

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January 11th, 2010, 04:53 PM
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I know for me, I always love to have my baby Eli remembered. But, I also love talking about him, showing pictures, etc.
I know a couple whose daughter was stillborn 23 years ago and while the husband talks about her and is a photographer for NILMDTS, the wife has never talked about her even to her husband. It's just some people's way of dealing. But, I would still think that it would be nice for them to know that she is remembered.
I think writing a letter is a great idea.
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January 12th, 2010, 09:23 PM
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Thank you very much for your input. I'm going to get started on a letter. I think that's a good idea as I can share my feelings but they don't ever have to acknowledge it if they don't feel comfortable doing so.

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January 13th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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They are very lucky to have such a wonderful SIL.
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January 15th, 2010, 08:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by chispaza View Post
They are very lucky to have such a wonderful SIL.

Just because they don't speak with the family about their daughter doesn't mean she isn't on their minds every moment of every day. In addition to the letter, I would say something - in person - as simple as "Wanted you to know that I think of Sarah Grace often and miss her". Then if they wish to continue the conversation, they will. Sometimes just knowing someone else is thinking of your child is just what you need at that moment.
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