The death of a baby is the most devastating events a parent will ever experience. The death touches more than just the parents however. Grandparents, other family members, friends and even community members are impacted. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age and it’s this “suddenness” that makes it even more traumatic. A seemingly healthy baby goes to sleep and doesn’t wake up. Perhaps even more devastating is the loss of a baby to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed (ASSB.) While this is indeed accidental the tremendous guilt a parent feels takes years to overcome.
At First Candle we provide immediate grief counseling with our 24-hr grief line along with online support groups, bereavement materials and peer support volunteers. As we often say it’s a club no one wants to belong to but in the days, weeks and years after a loss it’s critical that parents receive support from others who have experienced a SIDS loss.
Many families comment how difficult it is to even talk about their baby’s death to business colleagues or friends in the community. People don’t know what to say and the conversation becomes awkward. Participating in Mommy and me groups and playdates is no longer possible because it’s just too painful. Trying to resume a “normal” life is virtually impossible but doing things that bring some happiness lead to feelings of guilt that you shouldn’t be happy once your baby has died.
At First Candle we aren’t just professionals, we’re SIDS parents ourselves and are here to offer help, support and someone you can talk to.
If you or someone you know has lost a baby to SIDS or other sleep-related infant death please share the First Candle grief support number 1-800-221-7437.
First Candle is a 501 (c)(3) committed to ending Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and other sleep-related infant deaths while providing bereavement support services for families who have lost a baby.
Your donation will help support our bereavement program.