Family friends of ours lost a twin about 18 months ago. We recently received an invitation to a memorial service for Twin A which is the 2nd birthday of the boys (the mother intends to have a memorial every birthday for the lost twin). We were instructed to bring a memory of Twin A, (I don't have any, he was in the NICU his entire life) and a toy to donate in memory of Twin A. We could wrap it so Twin B would have something to open, but a list of acceptable new toys for the hospital. Otherwise monetary donations would be acceptable but please do so in Twin A's name.
My daughter was playing with their older child (my child and this child are both 4) and my daughter started talking about birthdays. 'OC' asked me if DD got to keep her toys. OC explained that he doesn't get toys for his birthday, he is allowed to open them, but they all go to the hospital. I didn't know what to say to the kid except he's helping sick kids be happy. I was also instructed for my daughter's birthday at Build A Bear that OC could build one but please no sound, smells, etc in case it can be donated.
I could NEVER imagine losing my child, but how can I politely decline this invitation? And all future gift giving events? Or instead of a gift should I just make a monetary donation? Or just keep my mouth shut and let them grieve and process in their own way?