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A Mother's Bond
Written by Clara Hinton   |  Oct 08, 2001
People always seem to direct their comments more to the mother than to the father when a child dies. That is partly due, I am sure, to the fact that a mother’s bond with her child is two-fold. There is the emotional bond, as well as the physical bond of love.

Very early in a pregnancy, most women are acutely aware of the physical changes occurring within their body. Aside from the obvious changes of cessation of menstruation, breast tenderness and swelling, and extreme fatigue, there are other physical changes that occur. Nausea, backaches, headaches, and a constant urge to empty the bladder all serve as reminders that the body is rapidly changing to accommodate the growing baby.

As these physical changes take place, there is a strong awareness of new life within the body. This awareness of life prompts constant thinking about the coming baby, and the anticipated day of arrival becomes a very real thing. A mother forms a bond of love to her unborn child that is so strong it is difficult for her to explain in words. A baby growing within and being nurtured by his mother is a precious thought, and bonds of love form that are deep rooted and everlasting.

When a child dies, whether very early as in miscarriage, or later in life, a mother suffers a double blow to the heart. She grieves the emotional bond of love that was formed, and a mother also grieves the physical bond of love that began as soon as she recognized the physical changes taking place within her own body.

“The mother’s arms may ache from wanting to hold her child so badly.” (Silent Grief, page 30) Many mothers will talk constantly about their aching arms when a child dies. This is a very real sensation that is felt when the mother is no longer able to enjoy the physical bond she once had with her baby. When a child dies, in a very real sense, part of a mother dies and there is physical pain associated with the loss.

Because a mother suffers both a physical and an emotional loss when her child dies, the grieving process for a mother seems more obvious to others than with a father. There might be more physical ailments such as headaches, body aches, backaches, and unexplained nausea. Depression can become very apparent. A mother might cry openly for long periods of time. All of this is quite normal in the beginning stages of grief.

Losing a baby is not easy! When a mother loses her baby, she suffers a double grief. It takes time to accept what has happened. Following the acceptance of the reality of death, it takes time to adjust to the loss of the child. A mother will often suffer both physical and emotional pain simultaneously, making her grief a bit more complicated.

Be assured that in time you will move beyond this stage of double grief. Gradually, the physical symptoms of loss will begin to disappear. With each new day, you will move forward to a place of a calmer grief where you will begin to see beauty, purpose, and hope in the days ahead.
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