Dealing with the death of an infant is overwhelming, to say the least. Unfortunately, it happens to many parents every year, causing intense grief and a rollercoaster of emotions that can feel next to impossible to handle.
It could be argued that there’s nothing more painful than losing a child, especially when that child is so young.
You’ll never forget that loss, and it will have a place in your mind and heart for the rest of your life. However, it’s essential to work through the grieving process so you can eventually find peace and keep moving forward.
While that might seem impossible now, there are things you can do to cope in healthy ways, and eventually, find comfort as you work through your grief.
Understand Your Style of Grief
Everyone grieves differently and goes through the stages of grief at different rates. It’s important to understand how you grieve and where you are in those stages without letting anyone try to push you forward.
You might want to talk about your baby. You might lean on your partner, friends, or family for support. Or, you might try to suppress your feelings and keep to yourself. Rather than asking for help, you might be determined to work through your grief on your own.
Grief doesn’t come with a handbook. There’s no one ideal way to get through it. However, there are healthier ways of coping than others. Keeping things to yourself or trying to suppress what you’re really feeling can end up doing more harm than good.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s important to remember that you just went through something both physically and emotionally traumatic.
Your focus is undoubtedly on the loss of your child. But, your body still needs time to heal from pregnancy and birth. Too much stress and turmoil can make it harder to heal and recover. The best thing you can do for your physical and mental well-being is to practice self-care.
It’s not selfish. It’s essential.
Try to do something active every day, even if it’s a walk around the neighborhood. Eat healthy foods, try relaxation exercises, and prioritize sleep. Although those can seem like basic things, they can also be difficult when you’re grieving.
Find Ways to Memorialize Your Infant
At some point, finding some closure about the loss of your infant can help. There’s no timeline in place and you don’t have to feel “rushed” to move on.
However, it’s easy to think that just because you’re trying to move forward that you’re somehow going to betray the child you lost by forgetting about them. That simply isn’t true. You’ll never forget them or the brief moments you shared together.
It can help to both celebrate and memorialize them, somehow. If you’re comfortable with it, hold a small memorial ceremony or burial with a stone you can visit often. Have a custom piece of jewelry made that you can wear 24/7 to keep them near. People choose to memorialize the lives of loved ones in different ways. Find what works for you.
Reach Out for Support
Grief is often lonely.
You might choose to withdraw from people – even those you love. Unfortunately, that’s one of the worst things you can do. Now, more than ever, it’s important to lean on your support system.
If you feel like you can’t reach out to your family or friends, consider seeking professional support. A therapist or counselor can help you work through your grief in healthy, effective ways, so you don’t feel so overwhelmed by your emotions forever.
It will take time, but it’s possible to move forward. If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to contact me for more information or to set up an appointment.