Sudden Infant Death
The death of a child is one of the most devastating losses that can strike a family. Each loss is unique and each family's response and how they cope is also unique. Some parents need years before they are able to resume normal lives. The loss of a child - and this includes stillbirth - is never forgotten.
After the initial shock begins to wear off, parents may find they are left with prolonged depression or other long-term effects, such as anger, despair and bitterness. Often the loss of an infant or child is the first grief situation for either parent. Fathers and mothers may grieve in different ways. One parent may need to 'talk out' the grief while the other parent may tend to grieve in silence. The stress of grief and the different styles of grieving may put a strain on the marriage and the family.
Siblings, too, will struggle with their own feelings of loss, grief and even ambivalence toward their deceased sibling, as well as the dealing with the disruption of the family unit.
How You Can Help - Be there to:
- Touch, if appropriate
- Cry with the family
- Offer practical assistance
- Attend the funeral, as you believe is appropriate or as meets your own needs
- Provide information packets to parents
Please visit Baby's Breath the Canadian Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths for additional educational materials and support for families bereaved by SIDS.
The following resources may help you or someone you know cope with the loss of a child.
- When Your Baby has Died - Baby's Breath
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: When Babies Leave the Circle – Baby’s Breath