Why I still say I have two children, even though one of them died.

Mental Health Parenthood Personal

Black and white

“Oh you have kids? How many?”

“Two. But one died.”

These conversations seem like a depressing taboo. In modern society we feel like we shouldn’t speak about the dead for fear of bringing others down. It creates awkward silences, tense atmospheres and I absolutely despise that.

Why should I stop talking about my daughter, just because others don’t like it?

She may have passed, but she was still here. She was still a person, and she deserves to be remembered and honoured just the same as my living child. To not mention, or not acknowledge her, I feel would be disrespectful.

So yes, I will always fight to keep mentioning Willow, even though she died. Everyone cringes when they hear or read the word “dead”. There is such a taboo around the death of loved ones that many people remain silent. There is an even greater taboo around stillbirth. Many people do not even acknowledge their stillbirth as one of their children, simply finding it too painful or not thinking that anyone else will understand.

I stand every day against this. Because our babies that died were people.

And they were our children.

They dreamed, they wriggled, they listened, they felt, they sucked their tiny thumbs, they hiccuped, they smelled, they tasted, they yawned. They lived.

No one should feel that just because their child has died, they cannot talk about her/him. There is no better way to honour and remember your child than to talk about them: make sure their memory is preserved.

Just because one of my children died, does not mean that I don’t still have two children.

My other son, Oscar knows he has a sister who died. 

He is 3 1/2. He knows his sister died and is watching over him. He visits her grave, blows kisses, talks to her, plays with her, leaves flowers. He loves her to death and he barely got to meet her. He knows she will forever be a baby, sleeping. He asks questions about her all the time, and talks about how much he loves her.

He deserves to remember his sister just as much as she deserves to be remembered.

I will not take that away from him, and I will not forget my beautiful angel child. So yes, one of my children died, but I still have two children. And I always will.

3 thoughts on “Why I still say I have two children, even though one of them died.”

  1. Excellent piece Emily, people shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it or be made to feel bad if they do Willow was just too good for this earth but she is still a person X

  2. This is a great way of thinking, I am the mother of 5 but two of my children died before they were born, I still tell people that I have three daughters who are now parents themselves and two sons who died before they were born. This is a great way for people to thinkxxx

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