(Closed) NWR: Invited to 1st birthday party for deceased child?

posted 5 years ago in Emotional
Post # 16
4818 posts
Honey bee

Oh, another thing I do on anniversaries like this is I donate to a charity the person loved (or that would be appropriate for the circumstance) in their memory and then a card gets sent to them.  I think it is a nice way to honor the life and their passing.  In this case I might be worried that it would set her off (do you get the sense that psychologically she just hasn’t accepted the death has occurred at all or she just wants to celebrate all of the milestones like she normally would?).  A pediatric hospital would be an appropriate choice or a more lighthearted choice that is kid-oriented might be the local zoo?  We have a zoo that is run on charitable donations and a foundation and you can buy “memberships” (but it’s not really a membership because the zoo is open to all and free if you can’t afford a donation) and they send you a certificate and a stuffed animal.  It’s a questionable choice in this case since she doesn’t seem quite grounded in reality, but just another option I thought I would throw out there. 

Post # 17
4044 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I wouldn’t go. Perhaps you can make a donation in the babies honor? 


Post # 18
7995 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

On the one hand, I have not had a stillborn baby (thankfully), so I have a hard time judging how this woman is handling her grief. However, on the other hand I probably could not deal with a party for a dead child, either. I could not attend, but I would send a thoughtful card. I very much hope that those closest to her have or will express their concern for her well-being and encourage her to get some professional help. No one expects her to ever forget, nor should anyone expect that she will be completely over it in a year (people often never get over things like this), but when grief begins to interfere with a person’s everyday functioning or when they begin to plan their lives around it (the cemetery photos, the stickers, the clothing, the party), I think some couseling might be in order.

Post # 19
6606 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Perhaps you should try encouraging your friend to seek help. Everyone grieves in different ways, but it sounds like the grief is holding her back from healing and moving forward with her life. I am not sure what to do about attending the party but I’d do my best to spend some 1:1 time with her on another day (probably several of them) and try to get a better understanding of her emotional state, and let her know how a psychologist or counselor may be of service. 

Post # 20
558 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

Girl needs to see a councillor, this is all weird AF. I’m sorry for her loss, but this is all bizarre. Especially the gravestone stickers and cake smash for a dead child.

Post # 21
3791 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

This is VERY concerning.  She obviously has the right to move on as she wants to and needs to, but I don’t think this is “moving on”.  I am not surprised by her SO leaving to be honest.  This is a big deal.

One of my college friends and her husband had a stillborn about 5 years ago now.  It REALLY affected them and they were absolutely devastated.  Every day on his birthday they visit his grave and post pictures.  They also had a stuffed bear which they had bought for him and they kept the bear.  Now they have three kids, one 3 year old and a set of twins.  In ALL the important family pictures, the bear makes an appearance.  It is subtle, but present.  They still remember him and honor his memory however it’s not over the top.  Things worked out for them fortunately, and they don’t dwell on their loss.  I think that’s how they got through it.

Post # 22
1073 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

Damn I feel really bad for her. It’s tempting to go to the party to make her feel better temporarily but this doesn’t seem healthy to support. She needs to move on somehow, I don’t know if you’d want to suggest help for her, but she desperately needs it.

Post # 23
928 posts
Busy bee

Such a loss has got to be soul crushing, but she does need to reach the point of acceptance. You shouldn’t enable her and someone close to her needs to have an honest talk to her.

Post # 24
2979 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

What the actual fuck? That is not healthy. I wouldn’t attend. 

Why did she get a smash cake? Isn’t that for the child to smash for photos? What is she planning? Are people bringing gifts (normal for a bday party)? 

Post # 25
10817 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

View original reply
smalltownbigworld :  

I could not go to a ‘party’ for a  child dead for a year,  not for anybody I think. I agree with pps who suggest a  decline  and  donation to a relevant charity . I’d suggest one like Through the Heart or Now I Lay  me Down to Sleep.

Now I’m even tearing up for my lost one , years and years ago!  

Post # 26
355 posts
Helper bee

This is really sad. This woman obviously needs counselling asap. She isn’t able to grieve or let go on her own. I think she needs some professional help to learn how to cope with her loss. I thought the birthday party was odd, but the thing with the gravestone blows my mind. I hope for her sake a close family member reaches out to her and offers to get her some help. I can’t imagine what she’s going though. As for the party, I’d decline. Make up some excuse.

Post # 27
3 posts
  • Wedding: May 2016

She must really need help coping with the loss for her unborn child. I could not begin to imagine what she must be going through. I don’t think it is healthy to cope with the loss this way but I  don’t see what you can do at the moment, besides being supportive. Is she someone about this?


Post # 28
690 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

This is both heartbreaking and a little creepy. If she is only a distant friend, do not go! There is 0 reason to be putting yourself through this. And agree with PPs, she really really needs professional help. I am so sorry for you bee

Post # 29
3756 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

I am currently pregnant with baby #1, and the thought of stillbirth is a worrysome little flicker always in the back of my mind!

While grief affects everyone differently, it sounds like your friend is crossing into the unhealthy territory. As she is a distant friend, I would express my regrets that you can’t attend and ask if there is a charity you can make a donation to in her name.

Post # 30
2009 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

im wondering how many people satying this is abnormal have been through it – birthday parties for losses are VERY common and encouraged and clasified as a healthy part of acceptance and grieving, we have them for our son getting a cake and card and little toy however it is a bit strange to invite others, maybe immediate family like the childs sibling or grandparents but inviting your friends to a ‘party’ is bizarre and ive never heard of that

there are lots of great websites on rememberance day ideas maybe look through them and get ideas or send some too your friend, I know a popular one with some people is getting friends/family to write the babies names on various beaches and take photos but there are many more ideas aswell

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