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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Question #6

The sixth question in celebration of 100 posts comes from Alyssa's mom, Ann.  She asked "How will you bring Gracie into Beana's life?" 

I think that it will be relatively easy to make sure that our children yet to come know that Gracie existed, and how much she was loved.  Gracie has a wall in our living room - right now it's just her shelf, but we also have a print of her Forever Remembered photo collage to get framed and the new photo board that was given to us last week to put up.  So she will be here for them to see.  They will always be part of whatever we might do in the future to honor her - our hospital's memory walk, the March of Dimes walk, holiday/birthday traditions, etc. 

I think that birth order probably has a lot to do with how lost babies are integrated into families.  When the lost baby is not the first born, there are often older children waiting with anticipation for the arrival of the new sibling.  When that sibling never comes home, they live the loss.  They may not understand at that moment, but it's part of their lives from day one.  I think it's a little different when the lost baby is the first born, since the younger siblings have obviously not lived through the anticipation, excitement and loss.  I have to admit, that I am somewhat worried about creating a complex for Beana.  Gracie will always be our first born, but Beana will 'functionally' be our oldest child.  I don't want Beana (or any of our children) to ever feel like she is living in Gracie's I anticipate that we will have to work hard to find a balance between maintaining Gracie's memory as part of our family dynamics and not making the rest of the kids feel like they are second rate.  It kind of makes me wonder how the question of number of children and birth order will be answered in 10 years.  Beana is obviously not our first born or oldest, but functionally, in the eyes of much of the world, she will be (again, that potential complex comes into play).  That is definitely not something we can answer or figure out now...but certainly something to think about...

But for now, we will maintain Gracie's wall, and our children will know and understand that the baby in the pictures is their older sister.  How everything else will unfold remains to be seen. 


Dana said...

I lost my first as well and I have wondered how I will incorporate him into our next children's lives without them thinking that they are less important than he is.

I'm not even pregnant yet though (that I know of), so I guess we will just see.

Antoinette said...

Thinking of you and Gracie today....(((hugs)))

As you know from the blog, Anthony has an older son Anthony jr who is 14yrs old. He was expecting the baby, and ironically came to only one sonogram to meet his sister and that was the last time I ever heard her heart beat. I like to believe it was the first time we were in a room as a family of 4. Now the rest of the world sees us as a family of 3 (sigh) but this is true. He kissed her and cried for her just like we did for weeks. When he sees butterflies he thinks of her and calls me.

It is going to be difficult for future children because of the "complex" issue. My cousin is not a rainbow, she is the child before the angels and felt as though her mother (who was never allowed to grieve 34 yrs ago) never treated her fairly and always cried for the babies who did not make it, and she has serious issues because of this. I obviously am grieving in a healthier way. I talk, i write i see a counselor. I know when the time comes that I will love all rainbows (if i am lucky to bring one home too) just the same as Alyssa. It is a hard question that I asked, and you answered it beautifully!!

Happy One Year in Heaven Gracie....!!! I am sure they are giving you a huge party today with lots of ice coolers filled with juice boxes sweetie!!

Supposed to be... "Mama G"... said...

Thinking of you lots today! and yes, happy one year to little Gracie.
My hubby and I were talking about the same thing to incorporate Kheri into future sibling(s)' live(s).

Lori said...

***Sweet little Gracie***

I've thought the same thing...don't want to be one of those, "You better eat your peas because Matthew's watching!" parents, but don't want it to be just a remembrance on special days and in every day life, his life is not necessarily we'll walk that fine line. Never easy, is it?


Crystal Theresa said...

dear susan, happy 1st birthday in heaven to your beautiful Gracie. in case you haven't seen it, wanted to let you know that her cupcake is now up on Calvin's Cupcakes here: For Gracie, on her 1st birthday.

i also wanted to add that i have the same questions and worries of how to keep that balance, should we be blessed with a child that lives. even between my two in heaven, because Calvin was 1st and with us longer, he seems to have more significance than Rainbow, who was only 7 weeks when i miscarried. i do know that any of my future children will know their heavenly siblings.

i think you are doing a beautiful job of mothering both of your children.


Holly said...

Yeah, you def have to take it as it comes. Hard to plan ahead for that!!