Category Archives: Sibling Love

Sibling memory boxes

Sibling Memory Boxes – Little Daffodils.

I recently shared with you a birthday package which Little Daffodils are now offering, now I share with you another package we will be offering.

Her Siblings

When we left the hospital our 4-year-old at the time received a key ring to remember his sister and her sister a tiny bracelet.  As lovely as they are, it’s a little ‘old’ for such a small child. As the years have passed Melody’s older siblings have each (of their own accord) put a memory box together for themselves, with little bits of their sister and things that remind them of her. This inspired me to give something to these siblings who lose a brother or sister.

Sibling Memory Box

So we’ve put a special sibling box together, which will be available to all siblings who lose a brother or sister.
They will contain,

  • A colouring book and crayons to help de-stress.
  • A dream catcher to help filter their dreams.
  • A natural bubble bath to aid a peaceful sleep in the early days of confusion.
  • A cuddly toy (designs of these will vary).
  • A butterfly.
  • Waterbugs and Dragonflies book. This is a lovely story, which explains death in a more gentle way.
  • Finally a scrapbook (not pictured), this can be used to collect memories and thoughts. Even as adults it’s hard to get our feelings out in the open, to question why babies and children die, so having a space for a sibling to collect their thoughts about the world after losing their much-wanted brother and sister.

The box can be decorated to how they would like, and keep any special items which they collect in there.

Supporting the children too

Children are often forgotten when supporting family members, they are labelled as being resilient, yes this may be true, but they too need to be supported. After all, they had their hopes and hearts broken too.

For more information on receiving one, please contact the Facebook page or via email.

There is no charge for these.

We currently supply

  • Musgrove Park Hospital Rowan Room
  • Musgrove Park Hospital SNICU
  • We will be supplying a batch soon to a hospital in Indiana.

little daffodils pregnancy and infant loss support service

children's grief

New Questions. Siblings Love.

light up lettering, siblings

Losing Melody

We’re open about the death of Melody, we don’t hide the fact that she has died; especially to her older siblings. They met her and spent five weeks with her. Five years on, it is still the case. We can go weeks even months without talking about her, but can also go weeks where we talk about her daily.

It is something we have come to be comfortable with in our family unit. My son struggled just recently, saying how he didn’t want to talk about her; to me I am glad he was open and we as a family respected that. He went on to say that he didn’t want to get bullied about the situation and it wasn’t that he didn’t want to talk about her. We have spoken through this; and he has since brought her up of his own say so.

I would never force her on the children; we have right from the very beginning been led by the children, often even before our own feelings.  I know people choose to believe otherwise – but unless you have been through losing Melody (not baby loss as a whole), but Melody then judging has no place in our home.

When I say “losing Melody”, I say this because each and every person’s loss is individual it is personal to them. Baby bereavement is incredibly complex without the need to judge how anyone glues themselves back together.

Siblings Lessons

Being open has played a huge part in our healing process. When you have a baby it is parent’s job to teach that growing baby about life, from walking and talking to colours of the rainbow, everything has to be taught.

For Melody’s younger siblings that is the case, to them Melody is nothing but a fairy tale; a picture in the frame, a name or a letter we include to remember her; headstone that needs to be decorated. The older two siblings however between them they made the decision to not hide Melody from the younger ones, to be open with them, to teach them about the sister they will never meet.

The older out of the two youngest, is 4, she was born 11 months after Melody had died.

She has started mentioning her, when we see garden ornaments or flowers; her sister will say “Aw that would be lovely for Melody.” She is very sweet.

She knows about her, or at least as much as we can explain to her. The painful thing is that her older brother had already learned about baby death at her age now. It wasn’t something we could hide from him.

Questions

Today she started asking questions; right from the very first Halloween after loss, we have always included her, we always decorate her grave; this year we haven’t, we haven’t been up for several weeks now – I know I should; but I just find it hard. The children were doing their pumpkins; we always do one for Melody.

“Did she laugh?”

“Was Melody in your tummy?”

“Did she say Daddy?”

“Did she say your name Mummy?”

I had to stop her there.

“No; because you have the biggest giggles now.” I replied.

I always knew what to say before, but now I am not so sure. These are the same questions but they are new. They are new to them.

Answers

I don’t understand myself why we never got to hear her laugh or hear her say Mummy and Daddy. I am stumped. My older children knew she didn’t laugh, her siblings knew she never spoke a word. We as her parents have slowly come to terms with never hearing her voice.

Now, these new questions, although I guess expected have caught me off guard. I will be as honest as I can be.

How can I say to her that no, your sister born before you never had the chance to say a word, never felt the first belly laugh from deep within. She never got to leave the hospital, despite the odds being in her favour.

I never got her hear her say “Mama.”

We know that we will answer them in a gentle way, that Melody was here for a little time, but she had to go and live in the clouds (where she thinks she is). I know it will pacify her enough for now, and for a little while longer. At least until she’s older, until they’re all older we get the real questions on why she died.

We don’t know, I don’t think we will ever understand.

Little girls sat on a headstone, belonging to their sister.

If you have missed my recent posts here is the last one I shared…

sibling grief

You Have Other Children

What is on my mind…
I felt compelled to put this piece together. Whilst coming across a seemingly harmless article, a person mentioning about a significance of her friend’s loss because her friend already had children, like it almost didn’t matter.
It got me thinking,
My question to this would be – Why Would This Matter?
                                                                                                                                 A death is a death; other children, other family members do not and will not make up for this, in fact at times losing a child when you thought your family was complete, when you thought everything was perfect, holds no words.
Numb could possibly come a little close.
Already having children should never mean “losing” a child should be less of a tragedy. The thing is the grief you have in your own personal being, is added with the grief and the guilt you hold for the children left behind. Our children had met their little sister, touched her, spoken to her. They were told she was coming home, and then she died. So not only our dreams and hopes shattered but dreams shattered in young children, carrying their grief, to pick up their tiny pieces too, while being clueless of your own.
As parents the world is now a cruel and ugly place; but we have to actually mask these feelings and show the children at a young age that the world is beautiful, trying not to take away their innocence, as it’ll be gone soon enough as they hit adulthood.
To be broken; but glued.
To hold them in their tears; while you hide your own.
To show you are still their main hero.
They ask you, Why, when you don’t know this yourself.
When somebody says, “Well at least, you have your other children”
It isn’t helpful, yes we are so, so lucky to have them, but this doesn’t make our daughter’s death, any less tragic, because I “already have children.” Then it doesn’t stop there, we now have our “after” baby, our “rainbow” “You wouldn’t have had her, had your other daughter died”
Well actually yes we would have had,
I hope upon hope that nobody, ever says this to her when she is older.
We’re not ‘better’ because she is now here, we were never ill. Having an ‘after’ baby just enhances, what our dead daughter missed out on, and actually what our new daughter will miss out on too; she will never get to meet her sister.
And one day we’ll have to re-answer the whys all over again.
Every single child is precious; they are a gift and are irreplaceable, no matter how many we are blessed with.
This really isn’t a competition.
There are no winners here.