DEALING WITH LOSING A CHILD:
From the beginning of time, children
have represented hope and a bright future. When a baby
or a young child dies, it is difficult to make sense of
such an unnatural and tragically wrong event. For parents,
the emotional loss of a premature death can be equally
as difficult to accept as the physical loss. When a child
dies, the hopes and dreams of the family seem to die as
well. It is also not unusual for a family's beliefs and
perspective on life to be altered during the process.
During this difficult time, it is normal to feel shock, denial, anger, guilt
and depression at different stages or together in different degrees. Initially,
you may feel numb, disbelief, and bewildered about life without your child.
You may have difficulty eating, sleeping and may neglect your appearance. Over
time, shock and denial may give way to anger over what has happened and then
guilt for not being able to save your child from suffering. Sadness and depression
often follow with episodes of fatigue, crying spells and aimlessness. At this
point, you may find that your happy recollections of your child are always
overshadowed by painful images of your child's last moments. It is important
to realize that these emotions are all part of the normal grieving process.
Try to be patient with yourself and your spouse during the bereavement process
and acknowledge that intense feelings of anger, sadness, guilt may come up
at unexpected times - sometimes months or years after your child's death. However,
over time, the pain of your child's death will become less intense and you
will be able to better cope with your feelings of loss.