Our expert says:
No, I don't think it is her fault. This was obviously a tragic event, deeply upsetting to everyone. Bad things happen. We'd rather prefer not to believe that, so we'd like to find someone at fault whenever anything bad does happen. And someone like the mother in this sad story, will be inclined to blame herself even if she did nothing wrong --- we tend to feel guilty. When what happened is something so awful, we want to believe that it is possible to prevent such things ever happening, so we assume that there MUST have been some way to prevent it ; and as it obviously wasn't prevented, we feel it MUST have been someone's fault.
But babies and young children can be hard to predict. Even if they had been sleeping in the same room, the baby might have found the button ; babies like to put things in their mouths ; and so a tragedy is made. What happened would probably have been quiet, and not enough to waken the mother. But she was aware and careful enough to check on the child at times, and discovered a tragedy nearly over. Babies have very small windpipes, and choke easily.
It's important for people to give her support and comfort at a time like this, and consider aranging grief counselling. There's an organization called The Compassionate Friends ( check phone book ) which is a group of parents who have lost children, at various ages, where she might get further support from people who have had similar experiences.
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