Death of an Infant Child

by Child, Death0 comments

Each Child’s Life is Precious

My experience took place when our infant son, Justin, died with no apparent symptoms at  the tender age of three and a half months.  It happened in the evening just after my husband, a pastor, had left for a meeting.  I rushed my baby to the hospital, but the doctors could not revive him.  I had one older son, Joshua, who was then 3, and would later have another son, Christian, but neither of these children would or could replace the precious child whom we lost.  -Donna

Wisdom for the Caregiver (for Donna)

  • Many people avoided talking about Justin.  It seemed that they were trying to avoid keeping his memory alive.  I wanted more than anything to talk about him.  It is healing, not hurtful to hear his name and recall his happy character as well as instances from his life.  Some individuals told me that they understood my pain.  Even if someone has gone through a similar experience, it is not the same as my experience.  Although the words “I understand” may sound comforting, they are not.  Please respect the fact that my experience is totally unique.
  • Some friends expected that by a certain lapsed time my husband and I should “be over” our grief.  the death of a loved one is not something that one day releases its hold and then from that day on the sun shines again.  It is like a corner has been torn from one’s heart which will never be replaced.  Scar tissue will stop the bleeding, but that space will never be filled.  The death of a precious child is not the kind of thing one “gets over” like a bump in the road.

People who helped;

  • prayed with us.
  • brought us food. (Although we needed the energy, we did not have the strength or capacity to prepare it.)
  • helped with the funeral arrangements (as did our minister).
  • wrote a letter to express their feelings about our child.
  • talked about Justin. Send a card or note of sympathy.  We especially appreciated those who later sent a second note.  (This was appreciated more than a phone call.)
  • remembered the anniversary of Justin’s death with flowers or a note.
  • did the thoughtful but unexpected thing, as when a friend presented me with a crystal angel for my tree the first Christmas after Justin’s death.
  • said “I’m sorry.”

For additional caregiving advice, refer to the following categories on this website:  “Death” and “Caregiving Basics.”

The above advice is from  The Compassionate Congregation, pages 95-96.