GET ANSWERS: How do I get over my child’s death?

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QUESTION:

My infant daughter passed away from teething-related problems that are, excessive diarrhoea and vomiting. It’s so painful to lose someone you love and who is not only a part of everything you do but is the reason you do what you do. It is especially hard when I think her loss was due to something that could have been managed better. I miss her and I’m in pain. How do I move past this?

Grieving mum

ANSWER:

Receive our deep felt condolences for the loss of your baby. The loss of a loved one is never easy even for the strongest among us. The love a parent feels for a child is unrivalled and so is the pain when a child is lost. Grieving, that is allowing yourself to go through the various stages of coping with the loss of your baby, is an important part of life. Experts agree that there are several stages of grief and the emotions that accompany it as described below:

Denial: Disbelief that the loss has happened to you.

Anger: Questioning why the loss specifically happened to you.

Bargaining: Begging, normally a deity, to undo the loss.

Depression: Inability to do normal tasks for a prolonged period of time.

Acceptance: Coming to terms with what has happened.

The grieving process can be jumbled up. Some days you’ll be angry, some days you’ll be depressed. Remember, for everyone, the grieving process is different and there is no set timeline within which you should be done nor a proper formula on how to handle it. You do, however, need to:

  • Acknowledge your pain. Don’t try to suppress it.
  • Accept that grief will trigger hard emotions.
  • Allow people to be there for you. If a friend or family member offers to move in, let them. If they offer to visit or take you for a walk or handle paperwork, allow them.
  • Don’t neglect your basic needs. Eat, shower, sleep and so on.
  • Seek help if you can’t bring yourself out of the abyss.

It is important to take some time out, as much time as is possible and as you need.

There will never be a time you will stop loving your child. You will also find yourself thinking about her even in places or situations that seem unlikely. So prepare on how to deal with things that may trigger sad memories. If it helps to talk about your child, the loss and so on, do not hesitate to do so.

You can also join child loss support groups. Social media is a good place to start as you can do so in the comfort of your home if you’re not ready for something more taxing.

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