Any advice?? (child ment)(extremely long) **UPDATED**
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Thread: Any advice?? (child ment)(extremely long) **UPDATED**

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    Posting Addict MrsDisel's Avatar
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    Default Any advice?? (child ment)(extremely long) **UPDATED**

    Update - Well I finally decided to have a conversation with Zoey about Isaac. It went well. Here is a link describing how it all went.
    http://www.pregnancy.org/bulletinboa...d.php?t=518378

    Thank you for all of your support and advice. I appreciate it all!


    This is long, so bear with me....
    So you know the story of my Isaac. He passed away about 4 weeks ago. Well I have 2 older children, Zoey who is turning 3 in July and Alayna who is turning 2 in August.
    Zoey was very involved in my pregnancy with Isaac. Right from the beginning I took her to all my appointments and ultrasounds. We didn't know anything was wrong at first, so that is why we took her. We wanted her to be excited about her little brother. Which she was, she loved the ultrasounds and seeing the doctor and going to my appointments. She loved my belly and talking about her brudder.
    Well, we found out about Isaac's diagnosis, and tried to get her to forget about the whole pregnancy and her brother and kinda tried to shield her from it. At first We stopped taking her to doctors appointments and ultrasounds. We hid the ultrasound pics, and stopped talking about him around her. Well she is smart for her age and wouldn't forget it. So the last few months of my pregnancy, we just acted like it was any other pregnancy. So we involved her in the pregnancy again. I took her to my appoinments and ultrasounds again, because there was just no way to hide it from her.
    When Isaac was born, both of the girls were there to see him. Zoey held him and touched him....Nearing the end before she went home with her grandparents, she started warming up to him. She would stand next to the bed and smile at him and run her fingers along his skin and hold his hand....

    After he passed, we stopped talking about him around her. We don't mention his name around her, we don't have any pictures hanging up, we were just hoping that she would forget. He was born at 2:46 am.....so when the girls got to the hospital they were still half asleep. They were both so tired that we didn't think she would even remember the whole thing.

    Well it is 4 weeks later....and she clearly remembers!! She is curious and is wondering what happened.
    It had been about 2 1/2 weeks, and I had forgotten about her being in the room and brought up his website on the PC, and was looking at it. She caught a glance of him for like 2 seconds. She comes over and then I relized that she saw his pic, so I shut the window. She asks me "Is that your baby??" I ignored her. She then asked me "Awww What happened to your baby??" I ignored her again. She asked me the same question again, and I ignored the question and distracted her with something else. Whats funny though, she only seen him the once in the hospital for only a few hours. I've had pictures up on the screen of other babies, yet she never asked about him then. But the moment she seen a picture of Isaac.....she automatically remembered him!! and remembered that he was MY baby.

    She obviously knows that SOMETHING happened. She's asked my MIL about him several times and wants to know what happened to him. My MIL ignores the questions and distracts her like I did. Thats all we know to do.

    Now, just the other day I was filling out a form, and there was a small picture of baby feet in the corner of it. She saw those and asked "those your babies??" wondering if they were his feet. I told her no, that they were someone elses baby's feet. She thought about it and then asked me...."Who took your baby??" Oh God this about broke my heart. She is now thinking that someone took my baby!!! I tried to ignore the question, but she kept asking me. I finally just distracted her again.....

    Zoey was at my MIL's yesterday. When I picked her up, she told me something that Zoey had done that about made her cry. She said that ZOey was rocking her baby doll.....and guess what his name was?? Isaac!!

    We never mention his name around her!!! Yet she still remembers it. Its crazy.

    What do I do about her?? She's still to young to really understand about the whole thing. She could never understand the concept of death. Even if I did tell her about it, she would just ask me again and again afterwards whenever she saw a picture of him or something that reminds her of him....right??
    I've talked to her doctor about it before, and they didn't know what to tell me. They just said to take her to a psychologist....or whatever those people are. I don't think that is necessary for her, she's not upset by it. I'm not worried about upsetting her when telling her, I'm worried about confusing her.

    Any advice??
    Last edited by MrsDisel; 05-25-2009 at 12:31 PM.
    Yours Truly....

    Proud SAHM and Spoiled Wifey...
    Trent (DH, Married 7yrs)

    Zoey (6yrs)

    Alayna (5yrs)

    Isaac (3yrs in Heaven)

    Sadie (2yrs)

    Zachariah (Born June 2012)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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    Posting Addict sunnycrest's Avatar
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    Oh honey - i am so sorry you are having to go through this.

    My daughter is the same age as Zoey. She is 3 in August. I lost my baby at 16 weeks last month. So different circumstances to you. However my daughter too had been quite involved with knowing about "the baby" and loved to rub my tummy and sing to the baby and talk about being a big sister.

    She said to me one day not long after my loss "mummy has a baby in her tummy". I simply said to her "The baby is not there anymore Scarlet". She then asked "why?" and i just said "it wasn't the right time for this little baby". She didn't ask anything else. She sometimes says to me "your baby is not in your tummy anymore" but she doesn't say anything else.

    I think I would try and explain to Zoey and give her some answers even if they are on a basic level as i did. I know from your previous posts you have a faith in God, so perhaps you could explain that he is now with Jesus? I do think it is important to give her some sort of answer, but i too would not want to be upsetting her either.

    HUGS. xx

  3. #3
    missy8632
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    I'm so sorry. I left my abusive husband last June and I'm raising my 2 & 4 y/o alone. I have my older son in counseling. They told me not to lie to the kids as they do remember. To tell them the truth in very simple terms that they can understand. Jonathan knows that sometimes mommy and daddies do not live together and nothing is his fault. Kids tend to blame themself.
    I do not think it is best to ignore her questions, but answer them in simple terms. The baby went to live in heaven. I would also let htem know that nothing they did caused the baby to go to heaven, and she is safe. Kids need to hear that, a lot. Anyways, that is my two cents.

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    Posting Addict TyrantOfTheWeek's Avatar
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    My kids were 6months, 21 months, and 3 when their daddy died. We have pics of him and talk about him when they feel like they need to. I know not the same situation by any means, but I think since she is so smart (And she is plenty old enough to get it to an extent), you guys should be honest with her and explain that Isaac wanted to go play in heaven. My two oldest at least finally after about 4 or 5 months got the idea that once you go to heaven, you don't come back. Did you let them go to his funeral/memorial service? My kids were at Rob's and I let them touch and kiss daddy all they wanted. I also explained that Daddy's body didn't work anymore. That was something, that even at a young age, they could comprehend.
    IMO, you should let her see pics and ask questions. I know it is hard, but in my experience it was something that had to be done.
    GL and

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    Posting Addict AVoiceInTheWilderness's Avatar
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    I have not had a loss after ds was born...that said, I had plenty earlier on. I always thought about what I would say if ds asked why he did not have anymore brothers/sisters....My thought, at the time..and is still the same at the moment, would be to tell ds that he has many brothers and sisters, but that God took them home because He had a very important job for them in heaven that only they could do...simple.

    To echo what the pp's have said, I would def say something simple to your dd about the passing of her brother..

    Marie

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    Online Community Director MissyJ's Avatar
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    Hi Lee-Anne,

    {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}} Kids are far more grasping of things than we give them credit for and definitely full of surprises. Those questions, while painful, reflect just how compassionate and loving a child you are raising.

    I really believe that it is important to share experiences with death with our children -- at a level appropriate with their age of course. Trying to shelter them completely leads not only to what you are dealing with (the curiosity, non-stop questioning, etc.) but may also leave her with becoming more frightened by whatever her imagination may come up with instead. Refusing to talk about him, not sharing any pictures, and trying to "erase" his memory -- for example, in some children may have them fear that if something happened to them or someone else they love dearly that they would be *forgotten* too. (Not suggesting that is what you have done with Isaac as I KNOW that is not the case.. just offering examples from some of the families that I've worked with over the years.) They may also become obsessed and fearful whenever you are separated - or another loved one goes on a vacation or travels for work... or worse, enters the hospital for *any* reason means they will die. Trust me - kids can come up with alllllll sorts of scenarios. (I was one that definitely did!)

    Death of a loved one hurts. There is no skipping that part as much as we would love to -- especially to shelter our children from.

    Here are some things that you can do:

    1)First, next time that she asks (or you could bring up the topic gently at a time when YOU are more prepared with time /emotionally) - share what death means in VERY simple terms according to your belief system. As others suggested and if it fits you can mention Heaven. Some have a belief that every life has a purpose to serve - and for some their job is completed sooner than others and then they are allowed to return to Heaven (if that is your belief in the afterlife.) Others may feel more comfortable sharing that sometimes (isn't this the truth!) that we just cannot understand why someone dies.

    In your case, maybe you could say that there was something wrong that no one could fix. Be sure that you do share that this is rare (as you do not want her fearful that everyone that gets sick, hurt, or ends in the hospital is going to die.) Perhaps you can even share that you are hoping to help others learn more so maybe someday this will not happen.

    2)Show her pictures. Display them if you feel comfortable. I love the image of you, your husband, and son that you have on Isaac's website. Let her know that just as you love her very much that you love Isaac too (present tense.) Together in your family you can remember and yes, "celebrate" the time you did have together. (((((HUGS))))

    3)Don't be afraid to cry hon. If you cry in front of her it is ok. Let her know that you are sad because you miss Isaac. That is perfectly normal and allows her to learn that it is ok to be sad sometimes... but that doesn't mean that you cannot have happy times too.

    4)Involve her in doing something to remember her baby brother. She is already doing this on her own by acting out with the doll. Again, this is not just normal but a healthy part of her own healing. Remember this is her loss too. We have shared some other ideas on the board here in the past -- but maybe let her help plant a little garden or even a flower pot that you could set in a sunny window and together tend to in his memory. If you do share with her a belief in Jesus - maybe allow her to help pick out a picture of Christ playing with a group of children. This is one that we used with our own kids that brought them a sense of peace.

    Here are a couple of articles for you and suggestions of books that you can read together.

    Articles:

    What Should I Tell My Child? (This was written about a loss through m/c but much suggested is good for *any* loss of a child.)

    Concerning Siblings (This article has suggestions for both younger and school age children.)

    Books: For those including a belief in angels/Heaven you may want to try one of these:

    We Were Gonna Have a Baby, But We Had an Angel Instead

    or

    Mommy, Please Don't Cry: There Are No Tears in Heaven

    There are some wonderful resources for helping children deal with grief/loss of a sibling. If you do find that you need something more please drop me a note and I'll send you some more recommendations. For her age though, keeping things simple and just answering in a matter of fact manner will likely work well... and help you in your own journey towards healing.

    ~Missy

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    Hugs. I am so sorry hon.

    My kids do not know of my losses because they were early on, and I just felt like it would be taking some of their sweret innocence away (my kids are a bit older than yours at 6 and 4 now). So I understand not wanting to tell. But kids are persistent, and we almost told them everything after the last d&c, because they knew something was going on.

    There is a family from church that had a stillborn daughter a few years ago, and I was helping in their little boy's church class, he was 3-4 at the time, and he just kept telling me matter of factly, "Sophie died". I think that was most of what he grasped from it, he may not have understood it completely, but as he grows older he will. They have some special flowers planted outside to commemorate their lost little ones (lost a second baby since), and the kids know what it is for, and I think that helps some too.

    It is heartbreaking, but you do have one smart little girl there, and some simple explanations will probably help her have some basic understanding. Hugs and prayers.

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    Community Host Sapphire Sunsets's Avatar
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    Ditto everything MissyJ said.

    Ignoring her questions and acting like it didn't happen is only going to make it harder on both of you (and your family) in the long run.

    My losses happened before my living children were born but, i still tell them about Zachary and how he passed. I haven't shown them his pic's yet but they see his stuff from the hosp and things i'd collected on the memorial shelf in my room.

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    missy8632
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    I am gald you talked with her and things went well.

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    Glad it went well hon, brought tears to my eyes. I'm glad you could have a good talk and that she loves the picture of her with sweet Isaac!

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