support for boy whose mother died at childbirth
July 23, 2011 12:13 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of a book or article that might be of help to a child and his family (he will soon be 12) whose mother died at childbirth. He is the nephew of a dear friend, the boy really values family and as he is maturing, realizes more and more, that each birthday also marks the anniversary date of his mothers' death. He is was adopted by a paternal aunt and is being raised in a loving family. If anyone has suggestions on how best to support the boy and his family, it is much appreciated. If anyone has first hand experience with this, your knowledge would be much appreciated. The issue is clearly much bigger than his birthday, but is there any way to help him emotionally to deal with this reality as he matures.
posted by jennstra to Human Relations (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There is a Wikipedia list for "Maternal mortality in fiction":

Of all the titles ennumerated there, Dickens' "Oliver Twist" comes to mind. I don't know most of the others, and some of them seem ... counterproductive.

There is also another Wikipedia list, of women who died in childbirth:

Maybe this can help find the biography of their children?
posted by miorita at 2:40 AM on July 23, 2011

Check out

He lost his wife just over 3 years ago 27 hours after their daughter Maddie was born, and as a result started the Liz Logelin Foundation for families I'm similar circumstances.

Drop him an email. If he doesn't know of a good book, he's a well connected widower who can probably help you find one. In fact, he's just published a book called three kisses for Maddie that might be a good read for the adults.
posted by bilabial at 5:17 AM on July 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

Seconding contacting Matt. It might take a bit for him to respond, but he'd certainly be able to point you in the right direction.
posted by zizzle at 5:32 AM on July 23, 2011

I looked for books recently for a friend's family member in a similar situation, and found these: Still Here with Me: Teenagers and Children on Losing a Parent; Death; The Lost Boys' Appreciation Society. Most books like this seem to focus on parents dying when children are older, and it worried me that this might be upsetting to someone who hadn't known their mother - the first two of these were the best I could find in giving a range of perspectives hopefully including some from children whose mothers died when the child was very young. The third one is a novel for children wch has decent reviews, but the mother of the boy in it died when the boy was 11, so may not be appropriate.

You could also ask for advice from bereavement charities - in the UK there's Cruse, not sure what country you are in.
posted by paduasoy at 8:21 AM on July 23, 2011

Two other thoughts - as he is interested in family perhaps he could investigate his mother's family tree, or put together a scrapnook about her with pictures and so on if he doesn't already have something.
posted by paduasoy at 8:23 AM on July 23, 2011

scrapnook = scrapbook.
posted by paduasoy at 8:23 AM on July 23, 2011

Be careful pointing him toward Matt Logelin's own blog. If child was adopted by paternal aunt and dad didn't raise him, Matt's blog might cause child to think "Why didn't my dad raise me as a single parent like Matt is with Maddy?"
posted by k8t at 8:43 AM on July 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

What a sad link.

I'm afraid I don't have any psychological reading/watching material to suggest. My only thoughts are this: It would be too easy to slide into the blame mentality (mostly himself, if his immediate family is loving and accepting), right?

But his mother carried him to term and worked hard to bring him into the world. What he bears isn't blame but the promise that he'll live life to the fullest and thus bring his mother with him into his future.

Anyway, good luck to the family.
posted by Ky at 8:48 AM on July 23, 2011

To clarify: the blog is not for kids! Lots of swearing, very sad, and the issue of adoption by an aunt.
posted by bilabial at 2:51 PM on July 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Slightly OT: was there a link that is now missing to the aunt's blog? I'm not seeing something that fits the descriptions by Ky or bilabial.
posted by Librarygeek at 7:24 AM on July 25, 2011

« Older Which convertor or transformer do I need for Italy...   |   help me hack this wristband (not literally) Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.