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Thursday, August 12, 2010

An Angel For A Sister

Dayne is starting school this year and it has been brought to my attention that I should make sure Dayne knows not to talk about Alexandra to the other kids. You know, it could traumatize them...Imagine what their parents will think! Do you REALLY want to force a parent to have to explain that to their child?
While I can certainly sympathize with how difficult it may be to talk to your child about death...I'm sure that most of you know where my mind is going there. My son had to learn in a very different way. My son had to learn from experience.
I don't like to make people uncomfortable, I really don't. I would hate for a child to be upset by my son talking about his baby sister that lives in heaven. At the same time, my main concern is for my son, and after all he's been through, I am not going to tell him he can't talk about what happened.
Why can't my son be proud of his sister? Why can't my son talk about her? He has just gone through the worst experience of his life, how is bottling it up going to help him? And how will he feel if he is told that his sister is not to be spoken of? Like she's a dirty little secret. We dare not talk about the baby lost in front of those delicate ears of others that have not experienced such a loss. Why can my son not be the voice that educates others about how it feels to lose a sister? If that's what he wants to do, why can't he? What is it hurting, really? Why should Dayne have to hold his tongue?
While I understand the way it must feel to be put in an uncomfortable situation, where you don't know how to respond to a 4 year old that tells you his baby sister is an Angel that watches over him, or how his baby sister was buried in the cemetery with a park, or that his baby sister lives in Heaven, PLEASE understand how HE must feel. How uncomfortable it must be for a 4 year old to find out that his baby sister, who he was excited to meet, whose only wish was to teach his little sister how to play superheroes and how to say meow, will not be coming home. Imagine how he must feel to have to visit his sister in the cemetery, to never get to laugh with her or play hide and seek with her. To never get to tease her or protect her from the mean boys.
PLEASE, imagine how my son feels before you criticize me and remind me to tell him not to be proud of his baby sister, who peeks on him from heaven.


  1. I'm so sorry someone told you that. :( Its ridiculous. Sigh.

  2. Whoever told you that doesn't know about kids. Kids are accepting. They take what people say at face value. They understand sadness and loss, often a lot better than we think they will. I told my friend's neice about Aidan a few weeks ago. She is 10. She had the sweetest, most wonderful response I've had from anyone yet. She at first was sort of shocked...but then said "that is really sad. Do you miss him a lot?" I told her yes it is sad and yes I miss him a lot. And when she tried to make me happy again by saying "you might have another baby". I said "yes, but it won't be Aidan. And just like how your mom could never replace you, I can never replace Aidan". Then she got all contemplative and I think really understood. She understood what a big loss it was. She agreed that Aidan could never be replaced. It was really touching. So don't let someone worry you that Dayne will scar the other children for life if he mentions his dead sister. Kids will handle it just fine. It's just their stupid parents that might not.

  3. That's ridiculous. My kids talk about Jacob because he is there brother, period. Tell whoever said that to shove it! :)

  4. Hey checking in from my phone again! I hate typing on this thing but I couldn't help but comment. Nevara and I passed by a cemetery yesterday and she said "Look mom there's heaven. Hey mom is heaven full yet?" and I proceeded to tell her about where heaven really is etc and of course she asks about death. It's not the most difficult conversation we've ever had, and any parent who avoids the subject is a selfish moron. I mean really. He's a kid. He's supposed to talk about his feelings and teaching him to bottle it up will only make him regress in the grieving process. You're doing such a good job with him Melissa. Really. Let those judgmental people in one ear and out the other!

  5. Melissa, I completely disagree that Dayne should not mention his sister.

    Would you be given the same advice if his grandfather had passed away? No, of course not.

    It honestly makes me angry that anyone would even suggest this. He had a sister, she existed, she passed away. There is no reason he should live his life pretending that Alexandra never existed.

    If my daughter ever came home and told me about a classmate who lost their baby sibling, I would NOT be upset. We would talk very basically about the concepts of life and death, and that would be that.

    I'm sorry, but in this case, the REST of the world should suck it up and deal with it. You can't shelter your kids from death forever, and actually, research shows that talking about death, or allowing kids to talk about death, either through fiction or non-fiction actually helps them grieve better in the event of the death of someone close to them.

  6. I agree your son should be free to talk about his sister, it will help him as well as help others become more educated. He is hurting and people need to understand that the siblings grieve their loss as well.

  7. My DD 5 had mentioned to her teacher about her older sister, Samantha. The teacher was confused based on an earlier conversation I had with her about not having any other children (I hate getting asked that question and hate when I answer it). Later I found out that the teacher had asked a good friend of ours about my DD having a sister. Good friend answered no (protecting our privacy?). So now, does teacher think my child has an imaginary friend/sister?

    For me, it is too difficult to bring up the subject of my child to people I don't yet trust with such a personal piece of me.