Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

It's hard to say good-bye before you even had a chance to say hello.

Parental grief is very difficult to endure. The loss of an infant, as in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), adds an added dimension to an already stressful time.

The death of a baby that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly, leaves no time for the parents to say goodbye, or to even grasp what has happened. Shock and disbelief are present.

A Mystery

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS is often seen as a mystery. There are no answers as to what caused the death. Along with the shock, there is the feeling of no control as to what happened. A helpless feeling is present and also a thought, that there was no way to prevent the tragedy.

Often a SIDS death occurs at home. The parents may have discovered the death and must now deal with the memory of the discovery. Other children within the family are confused by the baby's death, when the child did not appear to be ill.

Parents of sudden infant death syndrome babies may often feel guilt as to what happened. They may think they could have prevented the death, or were in some way responsible, even when told they were not.

The child's death may have occured while in the care of another, such as a day care provider. There may be the feeling by the parents, that if the child was in their care, the death would not have occured.



Sunset With Splashing Waves

Sunset with splashing waves

A Confusing Time

Some families become the target for investigation, as to why the child died. An autopsy may not provide the legal answers, nor answers to satisfy the parents.

Anger, confussion and a helpless feeling prevail at this time.

Sudden infant death syndrome parents often hold thoughts, that if they had done something different, their child would still be alive.

Expressing Grief

At times, the baby may have died shortly after birth. Friends and family may not have had a chance to know the baby. This in no way diminishes the grief felt by the parents, even though other people may not understand how they feel. SIDS parents need their baby's short life to be honored and remembered.

With a SIDS death, there are many unanswered questions. Parents will wonder, if the tragedy could happen with future children. They want to know if they could have prevented the death.

Seek Support

Support groups are available for SIDS parents to come together, and share what they have been through. Health care professionals can help parents express their pain and confusion. The health care field can be at a loss as to what happened, but they can provide the safe place to begin a path toward healing.

There are many books and websites that can assist in healing and understanding the grief process. Please use them as needed.

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Hope...Time...Love...Healing

Tomorrow will come. The pain will ease,
But you will never forget your precious child.
It takes hope, time, and love for the healing to take place.
Remember along the way to accept, but never forget.

Love lives longer than grief or pain...
All other things pass, but love will remain.
A bond that nothing can sever,
Because love lasts forever.

Our hearts are broken. Our world seems like it has ended.
Our dreams, our hopes, and our future with this child are over.
Our precious child has died.

God sends his little angels, in many forms and guises,
They come as lovely miracles, that God alone devises.
What we have once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose.
For all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.

Helen Keller

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