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How to fill in surveys on number of children you have when one is deceased

(16 Posts)
25Avalon Sun 14-Jun-20 10:22:34

My son died 15 years ago from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He was a lovely lad and the best one of us all in our family. Lots of surveys ask how many children you have. If I don’t include him in I feel like I am denying him but the surveys often present it to appear it’s only living children. What do other gransnetters feel and do?

Galaxy Sun 14-Jun-20 10:28:39

I am so sorry for your loss. I dont know that it matters what other people think but for what it's worth I think he will always be your son and you will always be his mother flowers

geekesse Sun 14-Jun-20 10:43:15

We Are Seven

———A simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage Girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad:
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
—Her beauty made me glad.

“Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
How many may you be?”
“How many? Seven in all,” she said,
And wondering looked at me.

“And where are they? I pray you tell.”
She answered, “Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.

“Two of us in the church-yard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the church-yard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother.”

“You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven! I pray you tell,
Sweet Maid, how this may be.”

Then did the little Maid reply,
“Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath the church-yard tree.”

“You run about, my little Maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the church-yard laid,
Then ye are only five.”

“Their graves are green, they may be seen,”
The little Maid replied,
“Twelve steps or more from my mother’s door,
And they are side by side.

“My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.

“And often after sun-set, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.

“The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.

“So in the church-yard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.

“And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side.”

“How many are you, then,” said I,
“If they two are in heaven?”
Quick was the little Maid’s reply,
“O Master! we are seven.”

“But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!”
’Twas throwing words away; for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said, “Nay, we are seven!”

Toadinthehole Sun 14-Jun-20 10:44:43

I’m so sad to hear that 💐. I think if it were me, perhaps depending on the survey, I would include him. If you feel compelled to do so, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t. No ones going to check I would think. God bless.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 14-Jun-20 12:52:02

I would write the number of children then add ( 1 deceased).

Statistically it is important too that some parents do outlive a child.

Emotionally, it must feel like denying his existence if you do not include him, and I am very sorry to hear that you have lost a son.

Calendargirl Sun 14-Jun-20 13:23:45

A friend’s son died when he was 13, she had a younger son. She went on to have two more sons. If asked, she would always say she had four children.

paddyanne Sun 14-Jun-20 13:40:40

I'm mother of three ,two who lived and one who died at 4 days old .Its easier when its a medical questionaire I usually say three live births ,2 surviving children.My daughter who died is a part of this family and alwys has been .No one outside the family speaks her name but we do and we remember her birthday and anniversary every year .
I had multiple miscarriages too and although I can tell you the dates and the number of weeks into the pregnancy its not the same as losing a child that lived and breathed ..not for me

chocolatepudding Sun 14-Jun-20 15:52:26

My first DD died age 7 months and i would include her with my second DD as my children. It is a fact and therefore you are telling the truth for the survey.

Thirty years ago a piece of land (about half an acre) came up for sale just up the river from our home. It is an island with a public footpath running along one side. We have planted over 300 trees and thousands of snowdrops and tried to keep it wild as a "nature reserve" in memory of our first DD. Very few people know this history but I can get upset when some people decide to trample all over the wild flowers and break branches off the trees.

Galaxy Sun 14-Jun-20 15:56:00

What a beautiful way to remember her.

BlueBelle Sun 14-Jun-20 15:58:38

I personally would always include a child that lived as my child on any forms or surveys but that s just a personal view I couldn’t bear to not

MissAdventure Sun 14-Jun-20 16:02:45

I just abandon the surveys, because most don't cover my situation.

Blinko Sun 14-Jun-20 16:10:05

25Avalon and Geekesse 😢

I weep for my son who never drew breath.

Granny23 Sun 14-Jun-20 16:17:28

I get stuck with surveys which ask if I am married/widowed/divorced/separated, DH now lives in a Care Home, but I do not (except during Lockdown) feel that we are separated, as I visit every other day and normally, occasionally bring him Home to 'our' House. I am still his wife and married but we do live separately, not through choice. If I tick the 'married. box then the survey assumes we live together, when in fact I live alone.

Daddima Sun 14-Jun-20 17:06:05

Lovely poem, Geekesse.

25Avalon Sun 14-Jun-20 21:34:37

I like the poem Geekesse - not one I would have associated with Wordsworth.
I was so lucky to have my son for 18 years. My heart goes out to those whose children were stillborn or only lived a short while. They are all precious. xx

OceanMama Mon 15-Jun-20 00:03:21

I also lost a grown child and, when I fill in anything, I include her. Always. I only don't include her if the survey specifically asks how many living children I have. Most just ask for number of children. I will never leave my deceased child out. She is as much my child as the others, just not with me.

If someone asks me how many children I have, I give them the full number. It can be a little difficult if someone asks what they are doing, but so far most people get distracted by what I say about one of the other children and I never get as far as having to say that one is deceased.