for grandparents. .
. a "double" grief
From the moment you became a parent
yourself, you have sought to protect your child from the pain and
sorrows in life. Mostly, you have been successful, you've had the
ability to solve problems, the power to lessen hurts. Suddenly your
adult child is facing a pain far deeper than any other pain in life.
It may be deeper than anything that you have ever experienced, or
perhaps you can understand this sorrow because you, too, have lost a
Either way, you are now
experiencing a variety of emotions: helplessness, frustration,
grief, guilt, and anger. You are suffering a "double grief." You are
grieving for your grandchild; all your hopes and dreams have been
shattered, your "promise" of immortality has been broken. You had
wondered if he or she would "favor" your side of the family,
wondered what he would "become" and had perhaps even bought gifts
for "later on" (like a first tricycle or special doll). Your grief
might not even be recognized by your own child, but you are, most
definitely, entitled to it. Grandparents are often referred to as
"the forgotten grievers." You had a special relationship with your
grandchild--one of unconditional love unhampered by parental
You are, at the same time, grieving
just as deeply for your own child. You feel frustrated and helpless
because this is one pain that you can't "just kiss away." All the
little ways that you had to coax a smile from that child are useless
now, all the magic words that used to solve the problems are empty.
You can only sit by, offer support, and watch your adult child learn
to live with this loss. Grandparents often think that "they should
cope better, have all the answers, control the situation and be an
example. When all that they have offered: advice, financial aid,
babysitting, experience, and help, is not accepted, asked for, or is
even rejected, they feel guilt, frustration and anger.
A SIDS death is uniquely difficult
because of its very nature. Its suddenness and the lack of answers
to important questions intensify the grief reactions. As
grandparents, understanding what is known about SIDS is vitally
important. Talking with other SIDS grandparents may help.
Click here to see more about the 'double grief' of grandparents
and contact information for AGAST (Alliance of Grandparents Against
The Iowa SIDS Foundation serves the entire state
of Iowa. Grief packets and peer contact support is available
to Iowa grandparents experiencing a SIDS or SUID death.
Contact our office at 866-480-4741 or
firstname.lastname@example.org for more