Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Telling the Siblings that come after

When I talk to other baby loss moms, one thing that always comes up is "how will you tell Abigail about Caleb?" I'd thought I'd share a few things that we do to make sure Abigail knows about her big brother.

We keep his picture up, in the house and in her room. Each night before bed we say our prayers and then say goodnight to Caleb and explain that he is in Heaven with Jesus. It helps because his picture is right with her picture of Jesus.

We take her to visit the cemetery.. We bring balloons and other trinkets to put on his grave while she runs around. I feel good about the fact that a cemetery will be something she knows, not some random/scary place she visits during a funeral.

We read her this book:

I love this book! Very real and sad but also gentle which is great for kids. It helps explain things with pictures that I find is very comforting as well as honest.

We talk about him and say things like "your big brother Caleb." Every so often we get out his photo book and look through the pictures and answer questions she has. Overall we just try as hard as we can to make him a part of our family. He has a stocking at Christmas, he has ornaments on the tree. My hope is that we never have to sit down and explain to her about her older brother. Instead, I'd like it to be something she always grows up knowing about with no secrets. She sees me cry because I miss him and there are days where my grief is too much so we take a pajama day and stay inside. I'm teaching her how to grieve because even though she never knew Caleb she will have to grieve the loss of her big brother. I hope we can help her navigate through that grief as the years roll on.

Abigail pushing around her "Caleb Bear" which is a 7.6 lb. bear from an awesome company called Molly Bears. They make bears for those who have lost a child and the bear weighs the same as Caleb did!

My advice for how to tell future siblings about their brothers or sisters who did not live would be to pray about it. Do something you are comfortable with. Make a way to memorialize your baby and then honor that space. Let your other children ask questions and feel comfortable talking about the sibling they lost. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this RyAnne! This exact question has been weighing on me a lot lately, and it gives me confidence to know that all the things you're doing with Abigail are pretty much the exact things we had planned for our future family. Thank you for the book recommendation - that looks perfect, I will def grab a copy.