Post # 1
My family experienced a loss yesterday. It was my cousin’s grandmother. I wouldn’t say I was especially close with her, but she’s been a presence in my life. I’m more sad for my cousins and extended family, as this is a loss more for them than for me.
In making my phone calls to extend our condolences, a few people have already remarked about how our newborn daughter is bringing them comfort in their loss, in a cycle-of-life kind of way. Ordinarily I wouldn’t think twice about my husband and I attending her wake and funeral. However, I’m not sure of the appropriateness of doing so with a newborn. The funeral will be this weekend, when she’ll be 10 or 11 days old.
So, a few questions:
— We can appreciate that people will want to see her, as newborns can bring a sense of meaning to situations like this. However, we really don’t want to seem like we’re looking for attention. Would bringing her be appropriate or inappropriate?
— If we do go, we likely won’t go for very long, just to pay our respescts. She does have a feeding schedule that we’ll need to try to be mindful of.
— There will likely be a lot of people there, and people will probably want to hold her. She’s just a newborn, and we are, of course, concerned about exposing her to anyone who might have a cold or something worse. Would you bring your newborn or leave her in the car with your spouse? Would you let people hold her? Some of your very close family members will be there, but also some other people who might just want to hold a newborn.
Please advise! Many thanks.
Post # 3
I probably wouldn’t bring a newborn.
Post # 4
I’m so sorry. 🙁
I will not because it’s a chinese superstition.
Post # 6
I try to keep my newborns away from the general public for the first few weeks, but I think it would be fine in this situation. I have noticed most people try not to touch baby’s hands and face, and this will help with germs. I would also sit in the back in case baby started to fuss. I’m sorry for your loss.
Post # 7
I wouldn’t have taken my first when he was a newborn, because I was a typical first time Mom.
I would have with my second because I had learned that babies aren’t as fragile as we initially think. They do come with some immunity they have gained from Mom. I would not pass her around from person to person, but I would attend, as you said, to pay respects.
Post # 8
I think 11 days is a bit early to attend a gathering with many people. Their still so fragile at that age. Most of my friends who had babies didnt take them to any social places until they were atleast 2 months old because so many people want to play with them and touch their faces
Post # 9
So sorry for your family’s loss.
Are you having a family get together after the funeral? I’m trying to think of funerals I’ve been to and almost all of them had a gathering with the family afterwards with food, etc. And for those get togethers there have been children and it was so good to see all the little ones, they do put a smile on your face. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a baby/child at the actual funeral service though.
Post # 10
Thanks to everyone for your responses so far.
@regberadaisy: Can you tell me more about the superstitition? I’m not Chinese but my husband (and therefore our baby) are. He’s not particularly superstitious, but I’m curious.
Post # 11
I wouldn’t because it is a taboo in most West African cultures to do so.
Post # 12
I can understand the sentiment from the family. If you decide to go then go armed with hand sanitizer and lots of it.
Post # 13
In Chinese traditions pregnant woman are not allowed to go to funerals because it is believed the evil spirits will take the baby away. I think in the same respect it’s not so good to have an infant around the “evil spirits” that surround death.
I don’t know how superstitious your husband’s family is? I remember you saying in the chinese custom thread they did not ask you to follow many traditions while pregnant. But with their grandchild it might be different? What does your husband think?
Many in my generation are not terribly superstitious but this is one that most of us do follow.
Post # 14
I wouldn’t just because of the amount of people there touching and breathing all over the baby. Also at that age it’s not like you have a good routine down and it could just be a really big pain. I’d stay home for this one.
Post # 15
As long as the baby does not inturrupt the service I wouldn’t see it as being a problem, and seeing a new baby generally helps cheer people up. I am not superstitious in anyway though.
Post # 16
No. Funeral services are extremely emotional. Personally I would have DH stay home w/ our child if it was my family and vice versa if the loved on was his.