how did you handle notifying "christmas card friends" about your loss?

(10 posts)(5 voices)
  1. Now that I'm past my due date, I've gotten concerned about the people who knew we were expecting, but I'm not in contact with them regularly, so they don't know about our loss. I was at 15 weeks right before Christmas, and we knew we were having a boy and it seemed like it was "safe" to make our announcement. So, I put a note in cards saying "we are excited to be expecting a baby boy in June". Now it's haunting me. If I had received a card like that from a friend, I would be expecting to get a baby announcement as well. I feel like it's an open issue that I need to close.
    Should I send a handwritten note? Is an email too impersonal for people who I only correspond with by christmas cards? I just don't want to wait until December and then have to stir things up again by sending an "oh, by the way, our baby died" note in their cards.

  2. Hi Candace - its heartbreaking that the issues/concerns surrounding a loss never seem to subside do they?

    For us, we sent out a mass email right after we lost to boys - the day we were back from the hospital. In part because so many people knew we were on bed rest and would check in regularly (and we didn't want constant phone calls), in part to limit post loss phone calls from a number of people (relatives etc that we knew we'd hear from) and most importantly because we wanted to tell people about our boys even though we lost them - we were still so very proud of them and since so many people knew about our fight trying to keep them alive for 2 months.

    That said, we also sent out Christmas letters to everyone in which we also touched on the loss (we lost them in Nov so it was a natural progression).

    One thing I would consider recommending as a really good way to get the news across is a charity donation in your baby's name in honour of his due date (perhaps to the March of Dimes or something like that). You can send out little cards that announce the passing of your son and that in honour of his due date your making a donation in his name and that you would love to draw awareness to this cause and either ask people to consider a donation to the same cause or a donation to a charity close to their own heart.

    We received a number of notifications of donations from friends to the Children's Hospital that delivered the boys in their honour. It was a very appropriate and thoughtful gesture from many who simply didn't know what else to say/do for us so from experience its a very suitable medium to get the news across and allow those around you the option to reach out to you in the event they don't know what to say or do.

  3. I was going to say just don't mention it in the Christmas cards. People that don't know about it by now aren't people you are close with and probably wouldn't even care (I know this sounds bad, but so many people are only concerned about their own world that they probably don't even remember about the pregnancy). However after reading nadiafilipfa's post I think the charity donation is a good idea.

  4. I agree with bakar...we lost our son in November and everyone who was anyone (i.e. of importance) knew by Christmas via word of mouth, either ours, our families or via the note we put up on the Totsite we had set up for our friends and family to follow along with our baby's journey because we weren't in any emotional position 6 weeks postpartum to mail out Happy Holidays type cards (in fact we tried to get out of town to not deal with people during that time of year and flew to Vegas to get away). People who were just the "Christmas card" type friends were those I didn't talk to frequently and didn't really feel the need to inform until THEY called ME to chat or I happened to run into them. One or two girls didn't even find out until a whole year later...but to me if that's how often I talk to those people (i.e. once or twice a year) then I didn't really feel any obligation to rush and tell them, "Oh btw, our son is dead." Maybe that's just me though.

  5. Just wanted to comment on the last two posts. Not that I agree or disagree but thought I'd share my experience.

    I still to this day get people asking about our twins. Things like "oh, you have twins at home now right??".

    Almost 2 years after we lost them it doesn't hurt as much but I recall about 5 months after our loss we had a number of people approach me at a work function (the industry I work in is small) and when asked I was really taken off guard and had a hard time responding appropriately. I was still overly emotional about everything and didn't want to rehash it ESPECIALLY when all they were able to give were those sh!tty platitudes like "oh, well, things happen for a reason" or "well your young, you can have more".

    Now, that continued to happen with me even though we filled people in on our loss and expected that the rumour would make its way through the grapevine.

    I can understand wanting to share with people on YOUR terms - not theirs and wanting to not have a feeling of 'loose ends' or being taken off guard by a congrats here or there. Taking it into your own hands allows you to be much more prepared and you can share the news as you want to rather than being blindsided by certain events/incidences. It also allows you to minimize putting people in that position of being idiots by saying the incredibly wrong thing.

    That said, I do very much agree with the below points of view. If your thinking about people that you are only marginally close to and the only contact you have are Christmas cards then you really don't owe it to them to update them. Most people would have heard the news by now through common friends/family and no one expects you to update them on such news.

    Still, I know I felt the need to 'reach out' to people about our loss. In part because the boys were such a beautiful part of our lives even though they brought so much pain. I wanted to share that beauty and I also wanted people to know that our loss was NOT something that I wanted to ignore - they have been the single most important event in our lives so far and I needed people to understand that even through all the pain they were so much more (hence our recognizing the blessing of our children in our Christmas letters).

    Rest assured I didn't announce it like as touched on here ("hey my baby died"). Instead I shared the news of how beautiful they were and how much joy they brought even if they were only with us for a short time.

    Though in saying that, I very much understand anyone's position of keeping such news and a loss as close to their hearts as possible and I don't want to minimize anyone's decision on how they managed their loss and their interaction with the rest of the world. Everyone is different so everyone will deal with such a situation in their own way.

    Definitely candace if your looking for some sort of closure towards 'others' close and not so close in your life I hope others will chime in with some helpful ideas.

  6. thanks for your input.
    I do feel like I don't want to have any loose ends out there. It is a very short list of people, and in particular there are two families who I babysat for on a long-term basis so I know that they would feel some sort of "specialness" around me having my own child.
    We did the March of Dimes in April and raised almost $1500, plus we raised money for the perinatal bereavement program at our hospital - those emails went out to the people who were on our email update list and I don't even feel like I'm close enough to the christmas card list people to be soliciting them for a donation.
    I decided to write letters to a couple of the christmas card list people, being very frank about the fact that they were receiving the letter because I didn't want to wait until christmas card season rolled around again to share our news. The remaining people were all on facebook, so I friended them and sent them a note that way - much easier because I could copy and paste and not have to re-write it.

    and, an update on one of my previous "how did you handle this?" questions - the mail seems to have stopped. I finally got Babies R Us to stop by sending an email with my whole story. All of the formula companies seemed to have taken care of it with one phone call. I still get American Baby magazine but it doesn't seem to bother me - I laugh at them because every month they send me an invoice telling me "your subscription is ending soon" and every month it comes. I wonder if anyone actually pays the invoice?

    We\'re now embracing our childfree summer. At the end of August, we're taking a trip to the Canadian rockies that DH has wanted to do for three years but I always used the excuse "but I might be pregnant then". I'll start Lupron the day after we return and the roller coaster will begin again.

  7. Quote:
    Posted by beautiful they were and how much joy they brought even if they were only with us for a short time.
    This is a VERY good choice of wording....I would do what I felt comfortable with....perhaps you want to keep it to yourselves, or share with some and not others, or with all. My bigmouth SIL took care of it for me and though it ticked me off to no was probably for the best b/c it spared me from hearing "all things happen for a reason" a thousand times. It can definately be helpful to reach out to certain people for help, comfort....but my gut tells me that by not mentioning DC in your Christmas Card-you are making a statement in and of itself, so perhaps it's unecessary?

    Good luck with your chioce, and I am very sorry for your loss.

  8. I guess I cursed myself by announcing that babies r us had finally stopped sending me their **** Got a mailing today. Will be calling tomorrow and working my way up the corporate ladder. This is ridiculous.

  9. I totally understand THAT feeling. I was on BRU's email list and I swear I got email forever (which was probably 9 months after his death but still seemed like an eternity before I figured out how to cancel the stupid stuff.) Snail mail is another story though. I was getting diaper coupons for God knows how long (probably up through this early this year and it's been 18 months since we lost him!) Yah, that sucked.

    I do want to say enjoy your relaxation and all the best to you with the upcoming cycle!

  10. Candace I hope you enjoy a nice baby free summer (hopefully the last one you will have). Me and dh took this plan and we have been going on day trips on the weekends for July - I will be starting stimming again in August. I told him well since I am not pregnant like I am suppose to be we will try to make the best of it and just have fun just the 2 of us because next summer we won't have the money or time to do stuff.

    As for the snail mail if anyone knows a trick of how to get it to stop let me know. I have managed to get all the email to stop by unsubscribing, but I can't get off the damn magazine lists or baby registery mailings to my house. Just today I got another one with a coupon for $10 off. I tried to see if it has an expire date, but couldn't find one thinking I will save it for next time, but then I reminded myself I won't be buying anything next time until I will be almost due - not going to go through this again and getting things for a baby that I no longer have.

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