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What to do…

January 4, 2010

I mentioned in passing in a post a few days ago that my collegue lost her daughter this holiday season.  She battled for over a third of her short life against something that she couldn’t beat.  There was hope for a while that she would overcome the tumors in her brain, but they got to her in the end.  I didn’t write about this at first because I couldn’t.  I can’t imagine living now without my baby and it breaks my heart that she is having to do just that.  Get up in the morning without her baby, plan her funeral, and try to figure out how to carry on.

I am in a bit of a dilema.  The funeral is tomorrow and I would like to go.  I didn’t know the daughter besides having seen her in the office once or twice.  I did though, eat lunch everyday with her Mom while she was at work, and have been in contact with her regularly since I have been on maternity leave.  I would like to go to the funeral to pay my respects.  I am not sure though if I should go as I have no one to watch MissL for me.  Which means that I would have to take her with me to the funeral.  Is this too insensitive?  Should I not bother?  I am afraid of people thinking that I am rude for bringing a baby to the funeral.  I don’t want to be disrespectful to the parents, and I am afraid of causing a problem.  I can’t even imagine myself in their shoes to decide.  Some people think I should go with her in the baby carrier, and just sit in the back.  Other people think I shouldn’t go.  Or I should find someone to wait with MissL in the car while I go.  I can’t leave her it is too far from my house, so by the time I get there and come home she will need to eat and she is breastfed, so she needs her Mama…

Opinions?  thoughts??  Ideas?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2010 9:14 pm

    Did she lose an infant? Maybe you should just send flowers and write a really nice card for now. Later after the numbness subsides a little maybe you can go see her but ask her directly how she feels about seeing you and your daughter. Im sure she’ll appreciate that you were thouhgtful enough to think of her feelings. The colleague of my husband lost a baby when Charlotte was born, same week. I finally met the mom at a big dinner party about six months later and she cried nearly all night seeing Charlotte. I felt awful and I was dreading the dinner all week! We talked though and she said that it was very hard for her to see my daughter because she knew about the birth (Charlotte was a few days ahead of her son who lived three days). We talked all evening and we both cried. It was really hard but I think it helped her somehow to see us and to talk to me. I’d say go see her a little later and ask first.

    • ashleyenfrance permalink*
      January 4, 2010 9:38 pm

      Her daughter would have turned 4 at the end of January. It is awful. I cannot even imagine her pain. I think your idea is the best. And I also think that a lot of people will be there tomorrow (she probably won’t notice if I was there or not), but in a few weeks people will have “moved on”, so to speak, and I can try to be there for her then. It was an awful battle until the end of her daughter, and I don’t know how you could survive something like that. I just feel so awful for her. I cry every time I think about it. Thanks for your opinion, I was kind of on the fence about what to do.

  2. January 5, 2010 8:54 pm

    Sorry I didn’t respond in time…my in-laws lost a son at 5 years old to cancer (my husband’s younger brother) so I meant to ask my MIL her opinion. My first thought was that you should go and stay in the back as others suggested. But I think Chris has a really valid point. I am really bad with these types of things so I wouldn’t take my advice anyway.

    On another subject – not sure where you live or how far you are willing to travel for a job but the school that I work at is looking for another English teacher. Feels weird to say more here on this sad post so if interested in learning more – drop me an e-mail.

    Squeeze your babies tight you two and be so thankful that they are healthy…

    • ashleyenfrance permalink*
      January 5, 2010 9:09 pm

      For anyone curious… I did not go. I didn’t know what was best and thought it better not to upset anyone. I am going to follow misschris’ advice and send flowers and a card towards the end of the week I think. And I am going to call and try to be there for her long term… I thought about it all day though, I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been for her.

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