Ask an expert

01 Jun 2011

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.

Answer 391 views

01 Jan 0001

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.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.