4 Coping Tips for Those Grieving an Infant Loss
Losing a child is an unimaginably painful experience. Grief is inevitable and it may last for a long time. But it’s hard to prepare yourself for the loss of a child and even harder to deal with your grief if it happens.
After all, we’re talking about a child that should have been able to live a long, healthy life but didn’t. How do you deal with that kind of loss? How do you navigate these complicated, terrible feelings, whatever they may be?
Here are four coping tips that may help you during the grieving process.
1. Don’t Judge Yourself
Grief is complicated, and there is no one particular emotion that defines it. In cases of infant loss, a lot of parents tend to blame themselves for their child’s death, but the truth is, it wasn’t. It’s normal to feel guilt, but please remember that whatever happened wasn’t your fault.
Grieving is a time when you need to be kind to yourself. Don’t judge yourself for whatever it is you may feel, even if it’s misplaced guilt or anger. These are just a normal part of the grieving process, and it’s okay to take a moment to acknowledge them.
2. Allow Yourself to Grieve
One thing that is often heard is that there isn’t a single timeline for grief. It may take six months, it may take a year, or it may take two years. It doesn’t matter how long you take to grieve. What matters is that you allow yourself to grieve for as long as you need. If it takes over two years? That’s okay. You’ll start healing, eventually. Grieving isn’t a race, it’s not about who can heal faster.
Grieving is about letting yourself feel every emotion that comes with grief — anger, sadness, hurt, guilt, even numbness — and letting yourself process the loss of your child. It’s not easy, but you will heal eventually. But feeling is a necessary part of the process, no matter how long it takes.
3. Remember the Good Moments
You may not have any specific memories of your infant, but that’s okay. You don’t need years’ worth of memories to be able to heal. Every moment you had with them, even while carrying them, is special in its own way. Maybe it’s remembering that moment you found out you were pregnant, or when you felt them for the first time. It might be painful at first, but remembering these moments are worth it, even if it takes you a little while to get there.
4. Reach Out for Support
One of the most important things during grief is to reach out for help whenever you need it. It can mean asking for family and friends to help out, or simply asking them to be there for emotional support while you get through this very painful time.
You can also seek out people who’ve gone through the same experiences as you, either in real life or online. Talking about your loss to people who understand can be incredibly helpful. That kind of support is invaluable. There’s nothing like talking about something weighing on you with someone who knows exactly what you’re going through.
Lastly, if you think you need additional help after all of this, you may want to reach out for professional help. Sometimes talking to people who are close to us is hard. You may be scared of feeling judged, or maybe you just find the idea uncomfortable. That’s perfectly okay. This is what people like me are here for.
Reach out when you need to. If you decide to make an appointment, we’ll be able to get you through the grieving process. Healing is possible, and together, we can help you get to where you need to be.
You can also learn more about how Mindful Reflections can support you by checking out our Pregnany Loss Counseling Page.