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Older kids

Posted by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 3:01 PM
  • 7 Replies
I have a 3 year old and 7 year old. My 3 year old was kind of oblivious to the fact that there was a baby in my tummy, or that the doctors had to get it out. He knows, but it doesn't really impact him. My daughter though, she was excited from the get go. Every week she would open the app on my phone to see how big he was, was picking out names, went with me to appointments and was excited to go to the u/s with me. And inspite of it being another brother, she was so excited.

Since we discovered he no longer had a heartbeat, my daughter has made it seem like its no big deal. She had told me that she was sad that he died but that's it when it comes to expressing real emotions. But then she has told me things like "next time we should have 2 babies, that way when one dies, we still have another". Last night she was in my room, holding the bear they gave me at the hospital and she was a little teary eyed. She told me she was singing a song to the bear and it made her sad because she missed her brother. Anytime I try to talk to her about what happened, she changes the subject. I've told her many times that me or my husband can talk about her brother or answer any questions she might have.
For those of you with older kids, how did they deal with the loss? How did you help them?
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 3:01 PM
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Angela4boys
by Angela on Aug. 28, 2013 at 3:15 PM
1 mom liked this

I have 5 kids, at the time they were 12, 10, 7, 5, and 1.  They all held the baby (Avery), so it was hard to be oblivious to it...with exception of our then 1 year old.  The hospital gave us a box, with things in it, a blanket, stuffed animal, a CD of his pictures, candle, etc...well, those things along with Averys urn, and other things are now in a display cabinet, but that box, turned into a therapy thing for the kids.  On their own they started writing letters, drawing pictures, making little trinkets, and placing them in that box for him.  They talk about him, without batting an eye...Often strangers will say things like "wow, 5 kids!" or "4 boys, you finally got a girl"  and the kids will chime in with well, there are six, there is a 5th boy..they don't want him forgotten.  I just let them take the lead. 

I was going to suggest maybe doing something like a box, maybe she can help decorate it...or plant a tree or some flowers in honor of your baby...she can help with that too...or do a balloon release, she can draw picture or write a letter on the balloon, and send it on up to her baby brother. 

I like having Avery's box, and letting them grieve or bond on their own terms.  Grieving can be very private to people...maybe your daughter is that way.

lovebugs_mom906
by Lisa on Aug. 28, 2013 at 3:39 PM
Thank you for the ideas. We did get a box of little things from the hospital too, and we have gone through them together.

She is my little artist, so I may suggest something like a picture or story to him.

I'm guilty of forgetting how this didn't just impact me, but everyone in my family.


Quoting Angela4boys:

I have 5 kids, at the time they were 12, 10, 7, 5, and 1.  They all held the baby (Avery), so it was hard to be oblivious to it...with exception of our then 1 year old.  The hospital gave us a box, with things in it, a blanket, stuffed animal, a CD of his pictures, candle, etc...well, those things along with Averys urn, and other things are now in a display cabinet, but that box, turned into a therapy thing for the kids.  On their own they started writing letters, drawing pictures, making little trinkets, and placing them in that box for him.  They talk about him, without batting an eye...Often strangers will say things like "wow, 5 kids!" or "4 boys, you finally got a girl"  and the kids will chime in with well, there are six, there is a 5th boy..they don't want him forgotten.  I just let them take the lead. 

I was going to suggest maybe doing something like a box, maybe she can help decorate it...or plant a tree or some flowers in honor of your baby...she can help with that too...or do a balloon release, she can draw picture or write a letter on the balloon, and send it on up to her baby brother. 

I like having Avery's box, and letting them grieve or bond on their own terms.  Grieving can be very private to people...maybe your daughter is that way.

snakesNsnails
by Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 3:41 PM
1 mom liked this
I am so sorry. I wasnt as far along as you but we told our children that we were expecting another baby right away. They were all so excited. When we found out the baby didnt have a heartbeat my four year old daughter (my only girl) had the hardest time with it. She was angry at the doctors and she drew pictures. She was very sad and would ask if I was as sad as her about the baby and if I missed him as much as she did. Aww that was heartbreaking. I held her and listened to her and told her the baby is in heaven and that we love him so much and will never forget him.
Just be there for her. Listen to her. Maybe buy a children's book on loss and grief. Hugs..its not easy.
mommyofnoah208
by Melissa on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:07 PM

She had great ideas. So sorry. My son was only 2 at the time. He asks a lot more questions now that he is 5

jojo_star
by Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 6:07 PM
My kids are 12, 15, 15, and 17. I had a stillbirth at 39 weeks four years ago next month. It was devastating for all of us. My kids loved their baby sister, they had helped get ready for her, they were very excited to meet her. They loved talking to my belly and feeling her kick. My oldest kind of pretended like nothing happened, my younger two just cried, and my daughter was furious. She was angry with everyone, including me. It just took time, lots of talking, and tears to deal with it. Be there to listen and talk, but don't push too much. She'll open up when she is ready.
lovebugs_mom906
by Lisa on Aug. 28, 2013 at 7:32 PM

I agree, I don't want to push her. But at the same time, I don't want her to think that her thoughts and feelings don't count. I just remind her that I'm here if she wants to talk, whenever that may be.

Quoting jojo_star:

My kids are 12, 15, 15, and 17. I had a stillbirth at 39 weeks four years ago next month. It was devastating for all of us. My kids loved their baby sister, they had helped get ready for her, they were very excited to meet her. They loved talking to my belly and feeling her kick. My oldest kind of pretended like nothing happened, my younger two just cried, and my daughter was furious. She was angry with everyone, including me. It just took time, lots of talking, and tears to deal with it. Be there to listen and talk, but don't push too much. She'll open up when she is ready.


cali_angel_girl
by Amy on Aug. 28, 2013 at 7:58 PM

My dd was only 9 months at the time of my loss so I don't have any advice sorry.

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