Chapter 4: Other losses and changes

Having more children

After our daughter died, our hearts were broken. We knew we wanted to have more children, but our grief felt so heavy. We needed time to feel ready, and not everyone understood this.

My son has now become the only child. He is too young to remember her and all that happened, but I always want him to know that had had an older sister, and that he is a brother. I want my son to know his sister in this way and to know that they are both loved.

As a parent mourning the death of a child, you may experience mixed emotions when thinking about expanding your family again. 

You may feel unsure about the timing of this or feel pressure from friends or family to consider this. Your child may have died while you were expecting another. You might be at a stage in your life when many people around you are starting families or having more children. You might worry that you are being disloyal to your child who died, but no child can replace another. Each child is unique.

All of this can impact how you are feeling in both your grief and your plans for your family. It can also leave you, and those around you who are starting families, feeling unsure how to relate to one another. 

It’s okay to decide not to have more children. It’s also okay to decide otherwise. It’s difficult and confusing to feel the pain of grief while at the same time having positive feelings about having more children. Sometimes joy and sorrow go hand in hand.