Few heartaches in life can compare with the loss of a child, and especially the death of an infant from SIDS. The pain of losing someone so young is always a tragedy, of course, and the unknown causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome can make the grief that parents, family members, and caretakers feel all the more deep and difficult to cope with.
If you are someone who is currently dealing with the loss of an infant from SIDS, here are a few pieces of advice from experts and parents who have experienced the pain of an infant death:
Communicate with your partner and family
The loss of an infant is painful enough, but it can be nearly impossible to deal with on your own. The grief associated with SIDS can put an enormous strain on the marriage or relationship, so try to communicate your feelings to your partner (and the rest of your family) to move through the recovery process together.
Contact support groups
Talking with others who are sharing the same experience and who can understand your feelings, is often helpful. Although it can be painful to discuss, many find that dealing with the issues around SIDS together with other parents and loved ones can be therapeutic and help them understand the emotions that are with them constantly.
Know the facts
Because SIDS and its causes are not well-understood, parents, family members, and other caretakers can sometimes mistakenly be blamed for the death of an infant (legally, or by other loved ones). It’s important to remember that there is no cure for SIDS, and that affected babies typically die while sleeping, without prior warning. In most cases, no one is at fault for the tragedy.
Remember that it’s normal to grieve
Getting past the grief of SIDS takes time, communication, and sometimes professional therapy or assistance. It is normal and understandable to feel grief, depression, fatigue, and a preoccupation with the situation for a very long time. Don’t expect to feel normal emotions, or resume your normal life, for quite a while – it sometimes takes months or years to recover.
To get help dealing with SIDS, visit our Southern California SIDS resources page to find information on local therapists, support groups, and more.