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Question
Posted by: Shua | 2011/06/01

loss of a child

I lost my son 4 mths ago. He was just a baby. I have been struggling to come to terms with this loss. It still hurts so very much. My hubby says that life goes on &  I have 3 other children to care for, so I must let go. I just don''t know how at this point in time. My baby was so ill. It troubles me that I never spent more time with him at the hospital. It troubles me that I didn''t do research and maybe even find another dr for a 2nd opinion. I keep asking myself if I could have done more. I feel I didn''t try hard enough &  didn''t do anything to help my baby.

I gave birth to triplets in December. My little one was the first born of the triplets. I keep telling myself that I wasn''t emotionally or physically well enough at that time. I was so overwhelmed. My husband &  I had no family support &  had to deal with having 3 preemie babies at hospital, &  one of our little angels being so critically ill. I didn''t know if I was coming or going at that point. I was trying to deal with a lot physically &  emotionally.

Is it normal for me to still hurt so much after 4 mths? So many people keep telling me to forget about it now. I keep hearing how I should count my blessings because I have the other 2 babies anyway. I also get told all the time that I am lucky the baby passed away at such a young age as it would have been worse if it was an older child.

I just need to know if my feelings at this time are normal or should I have gotten over it by now, as so many have said I should. My baby passed away in Jan this yr.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear Shua,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. All bereavements are hard to bear, each in their own specific way. You really need and deserve to see a counsellor with exp[erience in helping people work through such grief. And also look into whether there is within reach of you, a branch of the group the Compassionate Friends, which is a meeting of parents who have lost children, of any age, who can help and support each other.
I understand what your husband is saying, and also that it isn't directly helpful to you at this stage. YOu need to let go of the grief and bitter regrets, without letting go of your love for the child.
You did the best you could. You couldn't save the littlest one, because nobody was able to do that, and I'm sure the doctors and nurses did their best, as did you. Some things we very much want to do, are not possible. It was not your fault.
Of course you were both overwhelmed - anyone would be.
People ( however well-meaning ) who tell you to foget about it are being foolish, and have obviously never suffered such a loss themselves.
Your felings are entirely normal and usual ; it takes 9 months or longer to recover from any significant loss. And then one does so not by forgetting the person we have lost, but by gradually losing the bitter sorrow, and remembering them fondly and with content that they existed, for however brief a time.
Anyone who tells you you "should have gotten over it by now" is a fool and/or ignorant, even if meaning well. Grief is hard work and takes time.
The assistance of a grief-experienced counsellor is valuable so you don't spin your wheels and get stuck in the grief work.

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Lee | 2011/06/01

Dear Shua
I am sorry for your and your familiy''s loss. You are entitled to your feelings of loss and your husband also needs to deal with it. I cannot imagine the loss. Your husband probably feels that he is helping you and himself by the comments and it is difficult for him too. But do not let it destroy your marriage or relationship with the baby''s siblings. The gap you feel is natural even though you have the other babies to care for. You will always miss this child and one cannot replace another. They are other people - who do of course deserve your attention but you cannot give this fully when you are grieving so deeply and therefore will have to go for counseling - there should also be support groups in your area (contact your nearest hospital). Insensitive comments are hurtful but many people speak out of ignorance, thinking they are helpful. This is your loss to grieve and if the other children one day know that you mourned their sibling, they will know that they too would have been so loved and missed by their mother as long as it is done in a natural way and counseling can help with this. Touch and read to your other babies every day and take some time to yourself to mourn the one you lost. Gradually spend more time doting on the babies. I wish you and your family well and may many blessings be bestowed on you.

Reply to Lee
Posted by: Shoes | 2011/06/01

Hi Shua,

My deepest sympathies to you. I cannot even think what you are going through at the moment, having never lost a born baby. I have lost 4 pregnancies, which is not the same, but I know where you are coming from. Even though you have other children, I think you are entitled to grieve, it has been such a short time. I don''t think we as humans are equipped to lose a child and think I would completely go off my rocker if that was to happen to me. To be told you were ''lucky'' the baby passed away at such a young age is insensitive, losing a child is not ''lucky'' no matter what age the child is. Take some time for yourself, perhaps go for counseling if you have the time and resources. You definitely need help to move on from your loss and it seems those around you are not helping you. Take it easy and look after yourself.

Reply to Shoes
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/06/01

Dear Shua,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. All bereavements are hard to bear, each in their own specific way. You really need and deserve to see a counsellor with exp[erience in helping people work through such grief. And also look into whether there is within reach of you, a branch of the group the Compassionate Friends, which is a meeting of parents who have lost children, of any age, who can help and support each other.
I understand what your husband is saying, and also that it isn't directly helpful to you at this stage. YOu need to let go of the grief and bitter regrets, without letting go of your love for the child.
You did the best you could. You couldn't save the littlest one, because nobody was able to do that, and I'm sure the doctors and nurses did their best, as did you. Some things we very much want to do, are not possible. It was not your fault.
Of course you were both overwhelmed - anyone would be.
People ( however well-meaning ) who tell you to foget about it are being foolish, and have obviously never suffered such a loss themselves.
Your felings are entirely normal and usual ; it takes 9 months or longer to recover from any significant loss. And then one does so not by forgetting the person we have lost, but by gradually losing the bitter sorrow, and remembering them fondly and with content that they existed, for however brief a time.
Anyone who tells you you "should have gotten over it by now" is a fool and/or ignorant, even if meaning well. Grief is hard work and takes time.
The assistance of a grief-experienced counsellor is valuable so you don't spin your wheels and get stuck in the grief work.

Reply to cybershrink

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