May 22, 2007

Protocol?

My aunt-in-law lost "Angel," her daugther, four ago this June. Angel was born with several developmental and physical disabilities. She died at 14 despite being told she would not live past 10. The anniversary of her death is approaching and Aunt mentioned this to me a few weeks ago when we were discussing birthdays and family events. We are very close with Aunt because she has two young boys that are 1 and 3 years older than my Oldest and also because she's just great. Well, I have always wanted to do or say something on this day but never knew what was appropriate. So I never did or said anything. This is not right. What is appropriate? Do I send a card, give her a call, or perhaps say nothing? Every Sunday after the church, they go and visit Angel. Maybe I can go and put some flowers on her grave? Or make a donation in her name?

Any thoughts or suggestions?

I'm sure there is a book on this somewhere, if anyone knows, please let me know.

4 comments:

Paula D. said...

You really don't have to do anything, but putting flowers on the grave would be nice.

Justice Fergie said...

One of my Mocha friends lost her son to Leukemia at 9 months. And since then, I've participated in a Leukemia walk in her son's memory (Light the Night). So when I saw your post, I called a girlfriend of mine who is very close to the mom to ask her what she does, if anything on the anniversary of the death of our friend's son.

She says that she just calls to let the mom know that she is thinking of her and her family. She says she makes a conscious effort to call the day before the anniversary because she knows that the day of is very emotional for the family. So probably, your Aunt will just appreciate knowing that you are thinking of her and Angel, at that time.

I suppose if you wanted to take it a step further, you could ask if there is any particular charity that your Aunt supports because you would like to make a donation in memory of Angel.

Have you asked any of your family members?

When it comes to things like this, it's hard to know what to do. I try to put myself in the other person's shoes...what would you expect or appreciate in her situation?

It's great that you are making the effort to do something. I'm sure whatever you do will be much appreciated.

Justice Jones said...

Great advice J. Fergie and Paula D. I think I will stop by the day before and lay some flowers and also call the day before. Thank you all.

Mama Bear June said...

I would send a card to say you are thinking of her on this difficult day. We face losing our son to cystic fibrosis. Friends who lost their son in a car accident loaned us a book called "When the Bough Breaks" about losing a child. I told my husband that it's a good book for extended family, too. Simply because it explains the different ways people grieve and it gives some things to avoid saying that will just hurt more. Losing a child is excruciating and you never "get over it." It can hurt when people avoid talking about the child.

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