Many parents feel a tremendous sense of self-doubt and guilt after the loss of an infant. Whether the loss was due to stillbirth, or some other unfortunate event, the shame, worry, and grief that follows are real and inevitable. The intensity and trying times of the miscarriage or infant loss are challenging to deal with. At the grief recovery center, our experts have found that clients often feel alone, and at a loss to what their next steps may be.
Our culture makes it so problematic to discuss miscarriages and infant loss with others. There is a significant stigma around communicating about how we feel and the grief recovery process after such a tremendous loss. It is a lonely place for parents who have to navigate through their loss because the aspects of grief are so foreign to our society. Here are 10 critical things to remember as you mourn the loss of your infant child:
- Your grief recovery process after the loss of an infant will be more challenging and difficult to understand because of the shortness of the time your child had spent in your life. When you consider how long you’ve known and how long you’ve been in the presence of your infant, there is almost an uncertainty as to how you should grief. Unlike another family member that you’ve come to build a relationship with them, an infant child is practically a stranger in your family. That confusion can carry a lot of guilt for you as you try to understand how you should mourn your child.
- Losing something so precious is tragic for any family. Our experts at the grief recovery center see clients who have a difficult time processing the experience with words. This type of despair is typical with such losses because there are no ways to explain the kind of emotions felt by the loss of an infant. With time, however, and the help of professional counselors, you may then be able to understand and work through the grief recovery process.
- It is hard to find the right type of social support for your time of mourning. You will find it easier to isolate yourself to mourn in private than to seek others who can come to understand you. However, it is vital to put in the effort to find a network of support because you can find comfort in connecting with others who have gone through a similar tragedy to
- There is no shame in getting professional counseling to get you through this tough journey of losing your infant child. At our family therapy center for grief recovery, you will be in a positive environment where you will learn new strategies to cope with your loss. While it may seem impossible at first, you will learn to be able to express exactly how you feel without judgment or unwanted questioning.
- According to the National Library of Medicine, trauma can be experienced through the loss of an infant due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or death of a newborn. This can cause mourning into complicated grief, which is more difficult to treat if prolonged. The grief recovery process can be complicated by an exasperated sense of loss and trauma. Hence, it is essential to recognize the symptoms early on to determine if professional assistance is required.
- There are no timelines for your grief recovery process; no two individual grieve the same way. You may take as long, or as little time you need to cope with your loss, but it is essential to have healthy and realistic expectations to strive towards. Mourning has its many sets of ups and downs, it is unpredictable, scary, and varies depending on the different triggers that can remind the individual of their loss.
- Practice self-care often, and prioritize your own health first and foremost. Your mental health can be affected by how you take care of yourself on a daily basis. Maintain a healthy diet, a full night’s rest, as well as a proper exercise regime to help you overcome your grief in the best way possible. When you are going through a grief recovery process, your mental state requires a lot of energy and strength. If you do not have a healthy body to sustain the work needed to recover from your loss, your overall health is generally more likely to be at risk for further illnesses later on down the road.
- Educate yourself on grief and learn strategies to cope with others’ personal experiences with loss. There is nothing like finding a connection with other parents that have gone through their own grief recovery process to find the path to help you heal in your own way.
- Create rituals or keepsakes of your baby that will allow you to feel close to him or her and spend time with these memorialized items. You can build traditions and rituals around the memory of your loss to commemorate it during your grief recovery process. It will bring your comfort knowing that although you lost your precious infant, they will continue to live on through your memories of him or her. This validation allows you to mourn in a way where overcoming is the end goal.
- Allow others into your life to process your grief with you. Togetherness gives purpose and connection to the grief recovery process, it makes the memory of your loss much more real, especially in the case of an infant loss.
If you are having any difficulties processing any of the above tips to grieve for an infant loss, be sure to contact our Houston therapist at the Grief Recovery Center for more info today.