Going home without your baby or child

If your baby or child was taken to hospital, leaving the hospital without them can be very difficult. Seeing the nursery and all of your baby or child’s toys and possessions again will be very hard too. Sometimes well-meaning family or friends will want to remove these items before you come home. Let them know your wishes. Many parents find it helpful to go through their child’s things together, at a time when they feel ready.

You may experience a wide range of emotions, from shock and numbness to anger and guilt. These are all normal feelings. It is nature’s way of protecting you until your mind and body is ready to cope.

Talk with family and friends. Be honest and let them know how you feel. You may find that as parents of the baby/child, you will react and grieve differently. Women often feel the need to keep talking about what happened and to analyse every detail over and over again. Men, on the other hand, often find talking about it very difficult and will prefer to “do” something. It isn’t uncommon for men to start fundraising almost immediately after the death.

It is important to understand that whichever way you deal with things – there is no right or wrong way, and if your spouse/partner doesn’t react the same way as you, it doesn’t mean that they are hurting any less. It’s just their way of dealing with things.

It is also very common for newly bereaved parents to want to stay away from their home as it holds too many painful memories. Some parents make the decision to move house and sometimes live to regret the decision. Your home may be the place where you have many painful memories about the death of your child, but it is worth remembering that your home also holds all your happy memories of your child.

It is often best to take your time and not rush into any decisions in the early days after the death of your child.