There is no set time for grief to take place. As a parent, you never entirely get over the loss of your baby. However, it is generally noted that grief can last between 6 months and 4 years. That does not mean that the pain is over when the grief is over, it means that you have been able to accept your loss and move toward healing.
Grief is often described in a number of phases or stages. There is no particular order to grief, but there are reactions that commonly occur. You may experience some or all of them. You may find that you skip from one feeling to the next, or you may experience one aspect of grief only to return to a previous one. Grieving is an individual process and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.
It is important to understand that there is no set pattern to grief, no expected phases or order that will always occur. Each person will have a unique and very personal grief experience.
Various sources describe the ‘stages’ of grief using a number of different terms. They are described using several different names, however the basic idea is the same.
Typically they include:
- Shock and numbness. When the loss first occurs it may feel that you are in ‘a fog.’ This gives you time to prepare to accept loss.
- Feeling the pain of loss. After the fog has lifted, you begin to experience the pain of the loss. This includes physical, emotional, social and spiritual pain.
- Recovery and acceptance. As you begin to accept your loss and how it has changed you and your family, the healing process begins. You incorporate your baby’s memory into your lives, and form new hopes and dreams
It is important to know that you can and will move through grief and into healing. Understanding the grieving process can help you feel empowered and give you comfort and encouragement.
An excerpt from the book Hope is Like the Sun © Copyright 2004