Not every woman
wants a child, but those who do want a child deep within their core.
Not every man wants a child, but those who do can vividly imagine
their child snuggling in daddy's arms. Not every couple wants a
child, but those who do dream of a little one with whom they can
share love for many years to come.
loss of a child, born or unborn, is devastating to those who have
already come to love it. It doesn't matter that your child was alive
for a moment, a day, a month, nine months or nine years. When you
are a parent, you love as a parent. There
is nothing loving parents would not do to preserve the life of their
child. But when a child's life is ended before it begins, parents
are often alone to grieve.
Grieving is not just feeling sad, it is a specific psychological
process by which you become able to cope with loss and reinvest
your love in the living. The only way through grief is to give yourself
time and allow yourself to work through the pain. Unhealed grief
can lead to depression, discomfort in close relationships and even
unexplained anger. It is important that you acknowledge your grief,
and take time to allow yourself to heal. Denying it, trying to minimize
it, or escaping it will only leave your emotional recovery unfinished.
of grieving a person must do is very individual, and there are both
physical and emotional effects. No one should criticize another
person's grief. Allow it to unfold without judgement, and it will
move itself through the stages. While these stages are universal,
each person experiences the stages in their own way and at their
own pace. This is why each stage has several different names. People
may be dealing with the same loss and pain, but in slightly different
Stages of Grief
disbelief, shock, numbness
are in shock. You try to block out the pain by refusing to accept
the reality of the loss.
accepted it, and now you're angry. Furious! You may be angry
with yourself for not controlling the situation better. Or you're
looking for someone to blame. You are looking for a way out
of the loss and pain.
loss has sunk in. You cannot imagine yourself ever getting over
it, of being able to get on with your life. You feel unable
to face life, let alone figure out a way back to any sort of
have finally accepted the loss. You know your life has been
changed, possibly forever. You now start to pick up the pieces
and push yourself to get on with your life.
loss and grieving, the entire experience, has changed you. You
have grown. You are now ready to start living your life with
is not an overnight process. It can last for weeks, months, perhaps
even longer. Many people find it helpful to see a counselor or therapist
while they are grieving. Others find help in support
members and friends can also be of help, if they also understand
the process of grief you are going through and can be supportive
in different ways as you transition through the stages.
time passes, those who have lost a child during pregnancy or soon
after its birth can usually accept and 'let go' of these memories
in their daily life, but their sense of great loss does not necessarily
end. It is true that conscious memory can fade, but deep emotional
memory is carried forever. Despite the advances of medical science
and technology which support life, we remain vunerable and human.
years old, grandmother remembered of the loss of her son
born 63 years ago. He had not lived long after birth. While
she never spoke of this child to us, we all knew 'grandma
had a son once'.
years since, 'grandma' lived her life as a happy, satisfied
woman with 3 healthy daughters and 19 grandchildren. Life
appeared fulfilled and good for her as she aged. But the
tragic death of one of her great grandchildren triggered
her memory, a deep emotional memory, of the incredible pain
and agony she suffered at the time of her infant's death.
As her granddaughter was overcome with grief for her lost
child, grandmother was also inconsolable as she spent time
remembering the loss of her own son so many years ago.
emotional experience of her memory was real but, when her
pain ended, grandmother was able to comfort and hold her
granddaughter. Together they shared grief, but grandmother
also knew life ahead for her young granddaughter would one
day bring her much joy and laughter again.
gift of this knowledge she shared.