Acknowledging the anniversary of a death


Last year, a couple from our parish had a still birth at 8 months. They are more than acquaintances, but less than “good friends”. Their loss really hit me…perhaps because the mom is close to my age…perhaps because I had recently given birth myself after a 13 year gap between kids. At any rate, my heart broke for them.

I’ve been wondering about sending a card on the anniversary of their baby girl’s death, but keep second guessing myself.

Have any of you done this? What are the pros and cons?’’



Because you have a new baby, I’d reconsider sending them a card–it may be taken the wrong way.

I’d suggest just praying for them…


As someone who gave birth to a stillborn child, I suggest you go ahead and send a card. If you aren’t sure how it will be taken you could make it a simple, “Thinking of you on this day,” card. In the case of a stillborn child, parents often feel the hurt of not having their child recognized as ever even being a human being.

I wouldn’t worry TOO much about the woman being jealous of you for having a child. She might, but in that case she probably already feels that way.


I think that sending them a card is a great idea. Or have a mass said for them and send them a mass card. A few years ago, my niece died of SIDS at the age of 9 weeks (in fact, it was 4 years ago yesterday), and her family always has a little dinner for her, or something in rememberance of her on that day. I think that people who have lost young children, or have a still born birth are sometimes hurt that we DON’T remember their child and acknowledge their loss.


I am currently participating in a grief group, and all the participants love when people call, send a card or mention the anniversary. People love to know that their beloved one is remembered and honored by others as well.


As the father of a son who was never born, I cannot begin to say how much I would appreciate, especially, a Mass Card in honor of his birth into eternal life! :yup: In fact his feast day is less than a month away. His sisters miss him so much…as do his mother and I.


How kind you are!
Absolutely send a card!


My son (see post on parenting board) was born a year ago, and died one day later. A friend sent me a bouquet of tulips (my favorite, affordable flower; I like calla lillies too, but in feb, that’s just expensive!!) on his birthday, and I was so touched, I didn’t even know what to say – words failed me. I got an email from a friend I hadn’t heard from since shortly after he died last year. She said “Bob and I have been thinking of you all week, and hope you know we think of you far more often”

both of those (expensive, and free) were so incredibly touching to both of us. Just having people remember is really special – the world goes on for everyone else, but those days seem to stand still for the mothers and fathers. I would most definitely remember them and their angel in heaven in some small way – the less actual contact the safer (i.e. a card, flowers, etc) – that way if they’re particularly emotional, as might be expected, they don’t have to “face-to-face” – if that makes sense. I was particularly disappointed to not even hear from 4 of my 6 siblings…seriously, would an email saying “thinking of you” have been that hard!!! Par for the course; I didn’t take it personally, just kind of shook my head…:rolleyes:


Ohhh my gosh, send the card. What a wonderful touching expression of love.

I also lost a newborn 11 years ago and would be thrilled and blessed to receive a card commemorating the date.


I lost two preborn children this year. I would love a card! A mass is a super idea!


It’s coming up on the one year anniversary of my son’s death. Bereaved parents love to know that someone remembers besides themselves. It won’t make them sad, they already are. It, rather, lets them know that the child’s life impacted others and is remembered by others. Send the card. She’ll appreciate it.


I am in a similiar situation, and can tell you from my experience, DEFINITELY send the card.

We had a preemie born at 25 weeks 18 months ago. A few weeks after she was born, a co-worker of my husband’s delivered her baby at 26 weeks. We were told our daughter would not live more than 2-3 days. We were told IF she did live, she would never come off the ventilator and never leave the hospital. My daughter is a living miracle. Not only is she alive, she is off the ventilator, home, and doing great. She is still on oxygen, has chronic lung disease and some other mild medical issues, some mild developmental delays, and is very small for her age, but SHE IS ALIVE! I have become very close with the other mother. Her daughter was seemingly much healthier than mine initially. Unfortunately, she had a much harder time coming off the ventilator, ended up with a tracheostomy (hole in her neck to permanently connect her to the vent), never left the NICU, and died at 8 months old, 7 months ago Thursday. I am in contact with this mom nearly every day (so we are closer than you are with your friends). Her biggest fear is that people will forget her daughter. She has told me time and time again that she wishes more people acknowledged her by name, and she gets very very upset when close friends and family do not acknowledge “milestone” dates, such as 6 months from when she died, her original due date, her birthday, etc. Believe me, by sending the parents a card (and even something else small if you can) you are most definitely NOT reminding them of their child. I can almost promise you that child is on their mind every single day. But you are reminding them that you cared enough not to forget…and that says a lot!!! You are an incredible friend for that!



As one who has a saint child as well, I would say send a card or have Mass said.

The hardest is when people forget or act like the child never lived (i.e. you only have two children instead of three (in my case)).



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