I come from a very, very small family (grew up w/one set of grandparents, no aunts/uncles/cousins), currently all that’s left are: Dad, my two siblings and I, each of my siblings have one spouse and 2 children, and my son and SO.
Anyhow, as the family archivist, it’s fallen to me to keep the family photos (I did a thread about having my dad’s photos - he was a custom jeweler and has photos of a bunch of neat things he designed), and of course, the family stories. A couple of years ago, I did a thing for each of the grand kids where I wrote up a bunch of memories of my grandparents, gave it to them along with copies of photos of them and a tatted pillow case for each from great grandma.
I’ve been working for the past year (off and on) on a follow up, stories about our childhoods - from my brother shooting Shirley Temple, to my sister carving her name in the door and blaming 4 year old me (naturally I was a saint). It’s now about 24 pages long, has stories about dad and mom’s early days, our neighbors, pets, vacations and so on.
Except one thing.
I had another sister, who died just before I was born. She was 5 years old. Neither of my parents (IMHO) recovered at all from her death. Neither could even speak of her - I recall dad swearing and demanding the TV station be turned off when there was a show about the disease she died of. (that wasn’t so long ago).
Now, to me, Susie was an important part of our family. But my concern is that my dad still cannot stand to talk about her to anyone (the most I"ve ever gotten out of him was him mumbling something about ‘and there’s some stuff of Susies in there’ when handing me a bunch of papers that included the memorial booklets from her funeral some 40 years ago).
I’m concerned that the younger generation, for whom this is intended, may bring up the subject with dad. And, given his responses to me over the years, I’m concerned how he’ll react with them (and they range from 22 to 8 years).
I sent off an email to siblings asking their input. Bro suggested I ask dad. I don’t want to ask dad. He seems to feel pain anytime her name is mentioned, in any way. He’s 80 and frail. I don’t want to cause him further pain.
(another thing is, of course, that we’re all in Michigan, he’s in Florida, but there’s a liklihood of contact this year since -crossing fingers wildly- my son’s due to graduate from high school in June)