Telling Subsequent Children
“One thing that terrifies me about having another child is to have to explain what happened.”1
It seems clear that the brothers and sisters of a child, who has died, whether they were born before or after the tragic event, feel a bond with this child. If you decide to talk to your subsequent children about the baby who died, speak openly, honestly and reassuringly. Most children treasure their knowledge of a sibling who came before them.
“Children’s understanding is very different. It’s not the same heart wrenching reaction that you would feel. The fear of having to share it with your children is because it is confronting to you.”1
“Kids will deal with it, but they won’t have the same emotion because you dealt with that yourself.”1
“Kids have a natural curiosity about family history especially when there are monumental events like a child’s death. At times, it is just them asking a question and wanting to know more about their family history and that’s as far as it goes.”1
“I am conscious that I do not want to inflict the burden of my grief on to my child.”
Last reviewed: 12/11/19
1. Quote from participants of a series of workshops and interviews with bereaved fathers held in 2015 at Red Nose Grief and Loss, Malvern, Victoria, and Red Nose Grief and Loss offices, Australia.