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Have you or someone close to you lost a child?

How has that loss affected other children in the family, including those born after the loss?


The loss of a child is surely the most devastating thing a parent can experience and the consequences can have long-lasting implications for how the bereaved parents care for other children in the family, including children born after the loss. But bringing these unique challenges to light –and receiving support from others who understand the journey – can make a difference for everyone touched by the loss. Dr. Joann O’Leary and Dr. Jane Warland, both experts in parenting after loss, bring rich insights and useful tips for moving forward (or helping someone you know move forward) after loss.


Have you or someone close to you lost a child? What resources were available to help? Please share your thoughts in our REPLY space below!

 

For “Parenting paradox: Parenting after infant loss,” click here.

For “Sibling grief after perinatal loss,” click here.

For “Bereaved parents’ perception of the grandparents’ reactions to perinatal loss and the pregnancy that follows,” click here.

For “Gifts from the deceased sibling to the siblings born after loss,” click here.

For JM Birth Consultants International, click here.

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Comments

  1. Denise Foley on January 16, 2012

    I find it quite sad that there is no word in the English language describing parents who have lost a child. For wives who have lost husband-they are a widow. For men who have lost a wife they are known as a widower. I have come to the conclusion that it is simply so devastating, that no one wants to put a name to the experience. I lost a son at 21, of sudden cardiac death. My life will never be the same. Hundreds of his friends reached out to us upon his death. He had a fiance. I have parents contacting me still because their children have isolated themselves because they can’t come to grips with my sons death. Shortly before my son died, a Facebook group formed called “Loss of a Child.” It is an incredible group. Some have had prenatal loss, loss of toddlers to the loss of adult children. I encourage others to read the stories of this eclectic group-to get an understanding of the losses we can identify. Feel free to join us in the group. To those who have experienced the loss of a child-I am so very sorry about your loss. For those who have friends who have lost a child, please don’t hide because you don’t know what to say or do. They need your support-even if they deny it. PLEASE don’t give up on your friendship!!

  2. Denise Todd on January 18, 2012

    Denise, thanks for mentioning our Facebook Group. We are truly a unique group of some of the strongest people I’ve ever met in my life. We are supportive of each other, share our children’s photos, triumphs, the tragedy that took them, as well as ways to pay tribute to their lives and finding a “new normal” state of life. No one (no matter how much study hours you have, college you have had, interviews you have had, books you have read, could make you a specialist on this topic unless you’ve experienced it first hand. I hope the world has LESS “specialists” in this area, but the sad reality is death takes everyone…including our children. It is a loss that is never recovered regardless how many children you have…there is always an empty place in a broken heart where they once were alive and well. Those of us who lost infants are haunted with wonder, and those who have lost older children are haunted with memories. There IS no “perfect time” to lose a child. Ever.

  3. Michele on January 18, 2012

    My daughter lost two pregnancies, both tubal pregnancies. She was devastated and so were her dad and I. They were our grandchildren. We had due dates and plans that will never happen. The due dates come and go and you see people with children who would be about the same age as they babies that were never born. When I drive by a cemetery with a headstone that reads “In Memory of All Unborn Babies” it just breaks my heart.