Advice Gathered Along the Way 

         - Try to explain the death in a gentle, kid accessible way. It is important to try to avoid the words “sick” or “sleeping” in your
  explanation though, because when your other kids go to sleep or get sick, they could develop a fear of dying. For example, we explained
  that Wrigley is “so small” so he is going to live in Heaven and since JJ was a little bit bigger, he gets to live here  with us.


          - Honor and celebrate your child and weave him/her into your daily lives as you wish without fear of how others may judge it. The

  truth is that if they have never lost a child, they are never going to fully understand all the pain you are going through. Sadly, our
  other children are exposed to death. One day, our living children might question, “well, what if I died?” so by honoring, celebrating,
  and incorporating your angel, your other children will be assured that they will always be loved,  they will always be a special part of
  the family and they would never be forgotten.

 
        - Try not to idolize your child in Heaven. Idolizing your angel might lead your other children to resent  him/her. Keep in mind
  that your angel would have thrown tantrums and forgotten to turn in homework too.


          -  Use visuals, like pictures or other items, to reinforce your full family unit. Young children rely on visuals to understand the
  world around them, so this will be important for them to understand their full family. If you don’t feel comfortable with displaying
  pictures openly, give a copy of the picture to your children and help them put it in a safe place in their bedroom. This lets them
  “cherish” the special picture and lets them be more invested in the sibling bond.


         -  Children can be hesitant to ask questions especially if they sense or worry that the topic may upset Mommy. To combat this and
  reassure Liam, every once and a while, I’ll ask, “Do you have any questions about Wrigley?” This gives him a place to ask questions
  with no fear or worries, and puts him at ease. 
 


            - In the beginning, it may seem like you are trying to force the issue, but as time passes things will normalize and eventually

  your children will start talking about their sibling and including him/her all on his own. By the time we had been back from Hopkins
  for 7 weeks, Liam was already mentioning Wrigley and including him throughout each day all on his own.
 


          -   Remember that your relationship with your angel will be different from the relationship your other children will have with

  them. This is natural, because every parent/child relationship is different from a sibling/twin relationship, and all relationships
  between siblings are different to begin with. This was difficult for me at first because I wanted Liam to love Wrigley just as much, but
  I had to remember that Liam’s love will grow just as it does in any sibling relationship. It is a natural part of any sibling
  relationship, and so it will be the same with our children in heaven. As Liam and JJ grow older, our goal is for Wrigley to always be
  included in our family of six—the love will follow, naturally.