Grief at the loss of a baby is particularly painful. Choose gifts with thought and sensitivity. Giving a gift marks the short life and places value upon it. Lasting gifts or gifts that grow are particularly poignant. For this reason many parents appreciate a plant, tree, star or garden plaque in their child's memory. Alternatively, handmade gifts can be highly individualised. Receiving a handmade gift always feels more personal than receiving a commercial product.
Gifts That Grow
Keep a memory alive by giving plants. Look for plants with boys' names as personalised gifts. Some names are easier than others -- Rowan, Heath, Acer and Logan (Loganberry). Try roses --- appropriate examples include Adam, Adam's Smile, Alexander, Alfi, Baby Michael, Daniel, Josh and Just Joey. Choose a personalised sentiment if the specific name is not available. Select from roses Baby Love, Baby Blanket, Peace, Enduring Love, Angel Face, Cherish, or from various Carefree varieties -- Carefree Spirit or Carefree Sunshine. Make up a planter of Rosemary -- for remembrance --- with forget-me-not and blue hyacinths. Forget-me-nots bear baby blue flowers; hyacinths will reappear each spring, signifying hope.
Personalise a garden seat with a plaque. Family members may sit here and remember the child. Similarly, families may appreciate a plaque or ornament for a special corner of the garden. Give comfort through the gift of a star. Name a star in memory of the baby; give the family the certificate containing the details of their dead child's star. Families report finding comfort in having their baby's star looking down on them and in being able to look up towards it.
Write a poem about the child and frame it. Choose a commercially available poem if you prefer. Express your care by giving the poem "When No Words Seem Appropriate" submitted to Ann Landers by a paediatric nurse.
Sew a patchwork square or embroidered sampler with the baby's name and dates or with symbols in his memory. According to the Miscarriage Association, many parents appreciate a memory box containing photographs and other small symbols of the child, but tread carefully with such a personal gift. Perhaps provide the personalised box -- these are available commercially -- but leave the family to fill it with their own mementos.
Give a memorial necklace, locket or dog tag engraved with the baby's name and details. Light a candle for the child and tell the family you are doing so. Give a small blue teddy bear -- choose or order one personalised with the baby's name. According to The Miscarriage Association, one mother reports buying a bear annually on her dead child's birthday. In this way she accumulates a growing and visual memorial.
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