I's hard to believe that after the death of your child, life does and will continue, even in the wake of your world being turned upside down. There is nothing you did to deserve or cause the death of your precious baby. In the hours, days and weeks following your baby's death, the range of emotions can be hard to manage. You may feel some of the following symptoms:
Grief is exhausting. There is no right way to grieve and no two people grieve on the same time-table. Also, women and men generally grieve much differently. Women generally grieve more outwardly and verbally, and men often internalize their grief, though such is not always the case. Unfortunately, this can lead to feelings of disconnect and isolation between husbands and wives - an event which compounds an already tragic experience. Talking about your loss and being honest about your emotions can certainly help to facilitate communication.
In Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's book, On Death and Dying, she defines 5 stages of grief. They are:
There is no set time frame for experiencing the stages of grief and you may even experience a recurrence of these stages at various times after your child's death. Below are ways to express and accept the grief as it comes:
Above all else, know this. The early days and weeks after the loss of a baby are excruciating. The pain can, at times, be unbearable. It's terribly difficult to believe, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Though your life will forever be changed after this loss, you will experience joy and laughter again. The unbearable ache of your loss will lessen with time, and hope and healing will happen.
* Important note: This website is not designed or intended to offer medical advice and should not be construed as such. All medical advice and opinions should be communicated directly through a licensed medical professional.*
Many books have come into print regarding the loss of a baby. Below are the ones many of the families we've served have found to be most helpful:
For the newly bereaved -
Mommy Please Don't Cry by Linda Deymaz and Laurie Snow Hein
Empty Cradle, Broken Heart by Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D.
Empty Arms by Pam Vredevelt
What's Heaven? by Maria Shriver
Free to Grieve by Maureen Rank
A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
Experiencing Grief by H. Norman Wright
When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner
For those families considering a subsequent pregnancy after a loss -
Trying Again by Deborah Davis, Ph.D.
Pregnancy After a Loss by Carol Cirulli Lanham