33 answers

How to I Deal with a Stillborn Death in the Family?

This is the first time I have asked anything on here so I am not sure how much to write. But here is my problem. Yesterday my soon-to-be sister-in-law had a stillborn baby. I have never had to deal with anything like this in my life. It is absolutely devastating and I have no idea what to say to her or the daddy. I don't know how to comfort my fiancee's family. I want to say the right thing but I know there are some things that no one wants to hear. Has anyone had to deal with this personally or even in your extended family? If so, please give me advice. I also want to do something special for my sister in law at my wedding, any ideas about that would be appreciated also. Thanks in advance for any and all help.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Well all you need to do is let them know that you are there for them. Tell you sister-in-law that you are there for her to sit with, listen, and even if she wants to blame, yell or scream her lungs out you'll be there with her to do it. Give support, just be there.

WE have lost a baby in the extended family also, just being there helps.

There have been many suggestions about planets and trees and such. Another thought is a star.

Hi, this is such a hard thing to deal with and sensitivity is the key here. I am the editor of a website called TheJewishWoman.org and we have a pretty extensive section on Fertility Problems and Loss which deal with miscarriage and stillborn. While the material in many cases is based on the Jewish perspective of loss, there are many articles that anyone will be able to find useful, including many pieces giving practical advice and suggestions (as well as personal stories). The link is: http://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/3134...

One particular article in the section of Helpful Hints is called "I Don't Know What to Say" and deals with the do's and don'ts of dealing with someone's loss, here is a direct link: http://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/4101...

Hope this is helpful!

More Answers

Hi A.,

I am so sorry for this loss in your family. On the 27th of this month, it will be 9 years since I lost my first baby. It was early on, but it was still earth shattering, and it didn't help when exactly 7 months later it happened again. There have been so many nice thoughts from so many nice people on here already.

The best thing that you can do is just be there for your sister-in-law and offer any kind of help or assistance she may need. Early on for me, it was just so hard to hear people say they were so sorry, or just say anything about the baby, but after some time passed, it was nice to know that anybody cared. Don't forget about it, she never will.

Also, personally, I wish people would at least remember me on Mother's Day. They don't have to send a card or anything, but just let me know that they remember me and the little ones that I lost. I think that in the future that would be a nice thing for you to do, just let her know that you are thinking of her on Mother's Day.

I am now a step-mother and that also brings a lot of mixed feelings, but thats another story. I am hoping to try for another baby this year after me and my fiance get married and in some ways I can't wait and in some ways I am terrified because of what happened before. If your SIL decides to try again, that will be another time when she will need all your love and support. Sorry for the length, I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about and praying for you and your family.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm so sorry this happened. Death is never easy, but babies... I'm about to cry.
My best friend lost her baby at 20wks. She complained that her house smelled like a funeral home from all the flowers (but she liked the few potted plants she got). I gave her a pretty journal and a pen in her favorite color - she said that really helped her thru the grieving process. Her son's ashes were scattered at a local rose garden, and she visits every year. Roses now have an extra-special meaning to her.

I like the idea of having a memory candle at your wedding - what a thoughtful gesture! Also, jot down the date wherever you record birthdays/anniversaries so you can send a little card or something every year to let them know you didn't forget about their precious angel.

Hugs to your family.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello,
I'm sorry for your loss.
I don't know how much help I can be, but last spring a good friends of mine delivered a beautiful still born baby girl. In this day and age, it seems like an impossibility and that makes it that much harder to deal with.
I too struggled with finding the right words to express my sympathy and provide comfort for my friend and her family. I found the best comfort I could offer was just to be there and listen.
I hope someone else will have a better handle on this for you, I just wanted to offer some support however small.

Dear A.,

My heart breaks reading your post and it looks like you have already been given some excellent advice.

I was given a wonderful book that I still treasure. It is called "I Am Wherever You Are."

Here is how the website describes it -
I Am wherever You Are is an exquisite collection of angel portraits with inspiring prose and poetry. This book is intended to offer hope and healing, especially to those who have lost a child.

http://www.nanoel.com/Controller?action=product&id=105

There are some wonderful support groups in the area that can be very helpful. Her loss is still so fresh that she may not be ready to go to this kind of thing. I would be happy to talk to her if she needs to talk to someone who has been through a similar loss. I was involved with local infant grief support group for a while and would be happy lend some support or give you resources to turn to.

Also one thing that I have not seen mentioned is to remember the husband is grieving as well. He will be ignored by others and other guys will be treating him like
he is infected with a disease. Let him cry and talk as well, have your fiance spend time with him and let him speak his mind.

My prayers go out to your family,
C.

I think the only thing that needs to be said is that your so sorry for their loss and if there's anything you or your family can do to help them through this, all they have to do is ask.

Hi, this is such a hard thing to deal with and sensitivity is the key here. I am the editor of a website called TheJewishWoman.org and we have a pretty extensive section on Fertility Problems and Loss which deal with miscarriage and stillborn. While the material in many cases is based on the Jewish perspective of loss, there are many articles that anyone will be able to find useful, including many pieces giving practical advice and suggestions (as well as personal stories). The link is: http://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/3134...

One particular article in the section of Helpful Hints is called "I Don't Know What to Say" and deals with the do's and don'ts of dealing with someone's loss, here is a direct link: http://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/4101...

Hope this is helpful!

I am very sorry for your loss. The worst thing anyone said to me during the horrible time after my son died was, "don't worry, you are young and you can have another one". The next worst thing was " Obviously something was wrong and God took him before he could suffer". These comments fail to honor the value of my little one and the incredible grief I was feeling.

What helped the most was when people didn't say much, but just stood by quietly and let me cry as often and as much as I wanted. At that time, the little tokens of afection, like a card, or a meal brought the most comfort.

A.---I lost my first-born son and the very best things my friends and family did for me was just say "I'm so sorry and I love you". No-one who hasn't experienced it knows HOW IT FEELS--so don't say that for sure---and those "platitudes" of "your young and be thankful you can have more children--etc etc." DO NOT HELP. I love all of my children, however, not one to take the place of the other. So, even just admitting that you don't know what to do or say to make it better--and saying I'm sorry and I love you, is the best thing I think.

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