The loss of a Loved One

A Couple's Relationship After the Loss of a Child

  • Your martial relationship is the most important relationship.  Let it take presidency over all others.
  • When a child dies, the grief affects both the husband and wife at the same time. Other stresses in marriages usually don't impact on both simultaneously. Therefore, your closest support is not always able to respond to you to your needs, because he or she is dealing with their own grief.
  • Each person in a relationship must be allowed to grieve in his or her own individual way.  Learning to accept your spouse's way can be difficult.
  • Difficulties can arise in the best of marriages.  Keep working at communicating your emotional needs to each other.
  • Your spouse doesn't have to be your sole supporter.
  • There may be stresses in your sexual relationship.   Openly communicate your feelings.  Touches and hugs can be very healing.
  • Each individual within relationship may need some privacy in order to deal with his or her feelings.  Respect each other and give each other the space that is needed.
  • When a parent loses a precious child, to death, they are often changed.  It may take time to accept and understand these changes. 
  • Remembering special times and sharing laughter and tears together helps the healing process.  Sometimes, searching for some relaxing things to do will give each a new perspective.
  • Sharing the healing time together often makes the marriage relationship deeper.
  • Each may have different ideas about what to do with the lost child's memorabilia.  Talk to each other and come to a joint understanding.
  • Your losses are from broken hopes and dreams.  Each person may have had different dreams for this special child. Sharing your dreams may give each some insight into the other's feelings.


  • Seek an outside peer support group, clergy or professional help
  • Take time for each other, alone
  • Set a time to talk each day
  • Work on your communication skills
  • Pray together
  • Give yourselves the time to adjust to your loss.


Catherine Lammert, National SHARE Office, October 1996


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