How many children do you have? How to answer this question when grieving the loss of a child.

"Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself. They came through your but not from you and through they are with you yet they belong not to you."  - Kahlil Gibran

I was faced with this question the other day....I answered it with ease for the first time. I have struggled with how to answer this one not realizing that it was going to be a punch in the gut every time it was asked. Seemingly a benign question asked more often than I ever realized. Sometimes it is just idle chatter between strangers in an attempt to fill the silence and other times in actual exploration, in the process of getting to know someone or to fill out a form. Does your child have another sibling at home, in the school district....Uhm...he did? Even my doctor asked me at my annual check-up, and I am thinking, you are my OBGYN...isn't it in my medical file? Do I say two and go into a long drawn out clarification that one died or do I just say one and avoid the topic altogether.


  1. I too as a grandma to this very special angel have had to answer the very same question about grandchildren and also have had people break into tears:( . I like you now pick and choose who I will be that open to. You will always have two children Jen, for he is always with you:-) think of you often.

    Love, sandy


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