The death of a child is always devastating to a parent. Like other parents, Solo Moms may experience depression, loneliness, despair, anger, guilt, and shame after losing a child, among other difficult emotions and conditions. But Solo Moms are also likely to face unique challenges in the aftermath of such unimaginable loss, as described in this article from Duke University Health System.
Solo Moms may be less likely than other parents to receive sustained and meaningful social support after the loss of a baby or child. The child’s father may not be present in the mother’s life and thus may be unable to provide emotional support and grieve alongside the mother, making the healing journey harder for her.
Even well-intentioned people may feel uncertain about how to approach a bereaved mother about her child’s death, perhaps fearing that talking about the child will only make her feel worse. In fact, the opposite is often true. When a bereaved Solo Mom has opportunities to talk about her child, she can begin to make painful and incremental progress toward acceptance and healing.
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Tara Shafer is the cofounder of Reconceiving Loss, an online resource center for families coping with pregnancy and infant loss. She is a contributing blogger to the Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and BabyCenter. Her work has appeared in the New York Times and on National Public Radio. You can follow her on Twitter at @reconceivinglos.
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