The Profound Experience of Grief: A Mother's Journey Towards Healing


How to overcome grief as a mother who lost her baby


Losing a baby is an unimaginable and heart wrenching tragedy that no mother should ever have to endure. The grief that comes in the aftermath of such a devastating such a loss can be greatly overwhelming; leaving mothers feeling lost, empty, broken, purposeless, and unsure of how to move forward. It is pain that can never be measured. 

The grieving process may be protracted and compound. That is an inescapable expectation. 

Grief is a complex and deeply personal emotion that arises from the loss of someone or something significant in our lives, and in this piece we unravel it in helping each other navigate such a painful emotion as we strive to gesture towards healing.

Defining Grief

Grief can be defined as a multifaceted emotional response to loss, encompassing deep feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, and confusion. It is a process that unfolds over time, as individuals navigate through the different stages of grief—which include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. 

The loss of a child is an inconceivable and difficult-to-digest tragedy that can leave a mother profoundly inconsolable.

The bond between a mother and her child begins long before birth—and the loss of a child results in a calamitous disruption of the natural order of life. The mother may experience a range of emotions, including intense sadness, guilt, anger, and an immense feeling of emptiness.

Personal Story

The day I found out I was pregnant again was one of the happiest moments of my life. My husband, my boys and I were overjoyed, eagerly anticipating the arrival of our little bundle of joy. It was a girl this time. However, our joy was short-lived when she suddenly departed from us. Without a warning. 

She suffered cot death whilst we were having breakfast. In denial we called the pediatrician who instructed us to run to the emergency rooms at Avenues Clinic; resuscitating her all the way, an agonizing 30 km journey to the emergency room. Seeing her covered in machines and the doctors running around attending to her gave us glimmers of hope. 

Thirty minutes in the waiting room without hearing the baby crying took us back to reality—my baby girl was no more. We were left with no choice but to say goodbye to our precious child just a few days after birth.

The first few weeks after her passing were clogged with a blur of tears, sleepless nights, and unanswered questions. I found myself endlessly drowning in grief, unable to see beyond the excruciating pain. It was as if a million blades pierced my body. 

But as the days crawled into weeks, and weeks into months, I realized that I needed to find a way to heal, not just for myself but for the sake of my family. It was like moving in a pathless forest, the woods blocking any sight of respite. But such a journey was inevitable.

Overcoming Grief

The grief that followed our loss was all-consuming. I felt as though a part of me had been ripped away, leaving an emptiness that seemed impossible to fill. I blamed myself for the loss. I questioned my actions, even though I had no control over the tragic outcome. 

I engaged in repetitive thoughts about what I could have done differently to prevent the loss. I imagined alternative outcomes and dwelled on past events and decisions. 

I felt abandoned and betrayed by medical professionals, and by a higher power. I became resentful, angry and I lost trust. I felt lonely in grief and disconnected from others who have not experienced a similar loss and I isolated myself. 

I felt guilty for surviving while my baby did not. However, through my aching journey of healing, I fortunately discovered several strategies and coping mechanisms that helped me come to terms with grief; and overcoming it. I found solace.

Firstly, I allowed myself to grieve. It dawned on me that suppressing my emotions would only prolong the healing process. Bottled emotions and all. So I allowed myself to cry, scream, and express my pain in whatever way felt natural. By acknowledging and accepting my grief, I was able to begin the healing process. Grief is not something to be brushed aside or buried deep within.

I sought support from loved ones and joined a support group for parents who had experienced similar losses. Sharing my story with others who understood my pain provided a sense of validation and comfort. It also provided me room to gain priceless insights into different coping mechanisms that had worked for others, which I could then apply to my own healing journey.

Additionally, I found solace in creative outlets such as writing and painting. Expressing my emotions through art allowed me to channel my grief into something tangible and therapeutic. It provided a sense of catharsis and helped me process my emotions in a healthy and productive way. Art became a safe haven where I could fearlessly confront my traumatic experience.

Grief is a journey that no one can fully understand unless they have experienced it themselves. It is a rollercoaster of emotions. 

By embracing humor, I found a ray of hope amidst the darkness. Laughter gave me the cathartic power to heal, to bring us together, and to remind us of that life, even in its most tragic moments, is still worth living. As I reflect on my journey, I am reminded of the strength and resilience of the human spirit.

To other mothers who find themselves grappling with the grief of losing a baby, I offer the following:

Allow yourself to grieve: Give yourself permission to feel the pain and sadness that comes with losing a child. Suppressing your emotions will only prolong the healing process.

Seek support: Reach out to loved ones, friends, or support groups who can provide a safe space for you to share your story and find solace. Connecting with others who have experienced similar losses can be immensely comforting.

Self-care: Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Engage in activities that bring you joy and provide a sense of peace. This could include exercise, meditation, journaling, or pursuing hobbies that bring you fulfillment.

Honor your baby's memory: Find ways to commemorate your baby's life and keep their memory alive. This could involve participating in charitable activities in their honor.

Mindfulness and Grounding Techniques: Practice mindfulness and grounding techniques to help anchor yourself in the present moment. This can involve focusing on your breath, engaging your senses, or using visualization exercises to create a sense of calm and stability amidst the grief.

Self-Compassion and Self-Kindness: Cultivate self-compassion and self-kindness by offering yourself understanding, love, and forgiveness. Be patient with yourself as you navigate the grief process, acknowledging that healing takes time, and it is okay to experience a range of emotions.

Cognitive Restructuring: Work with your therapist to identify and challenge any negative or self-blaming thoughts that may contribute to your grief experience and replace them with more compassionate and realistic ones.

Seeking Professional Help: In some cases, the grief may become overwhelming and interfere with daily functioning, seek professional help from therapists or counselors who specialize in grief.


Losing a baby is an inexplicable pain that no mother should ever have to go through. But it happens sometimes—a mother loses her child  However, through my personal experience, I have learned that healing is possible. 

By allowing ourselves to grieve, seeking support, and engaging in self-care, we can gradually overcome the grief and find solace. 

While the pain of losing a baby will never fully disappear, it is possible to find hope, strength, and a renewed sense of purpose. To all the mothers who have experienced this unimaginable loss, remember that you are not alone, and healing is within reach. 

May society, support and uplift these mothers recognizing the incredible strength and resilience they possess.

Making news and commentary easy for you. Follow the ZimSphere channel on WhatsApp:

*Joyline Kamanga MSc in counselling psychology with Great Zimbabwe University

Post a Comment