chapter  7
Learning from the Parents’ Experience: How People Cope with Traumatic Events
ByKaren Martin
Pages 17

The underlying cognitive process that helped the parents to eventually “accept the unacceptable” death of their baby is their search for reason. The first step in the process involves the parents’ need to explain why any baby could die so suddenly and without warning. The next step in the process involves a different kind of investigation. To follow the police analogy further, this phase is similar to the trial that examines the circumstances and events leading to a death. The last step involves the need to find the existential or philosophical reason for their baby’s death and for the parents’ suffering. The grief experience began with the parents’ commitment to loving a new baby. These are the people who are severely and perhaps permanently damaged by their experience. The “heart” of the experience of parents who have lost their baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is searching for reason.