'It felt like life was so unfair – my precious grandson would not get to take a breath, taste his mother’s milk or feel my gentle kiss on his cheek.' – Lyndy

When a baby dies, grandparents, too, experience a loss. They can feel many of the strong and unexpected emotions as bereaved parents themselves but may question whether their feelings are as justified because they hardly got to know, or perhaps didn't even see, their grandchild. It's important to remember that feelings based on emotional connections can be just as strong as those based on physical ones.

While there is nothing you can do to 'fix' things for your child, the special kind of love and support you can provide can be invaluable to your family's emotional recovery. To just 'be there' for your child, when they are ready and willing to talk, is frequently a grandparent's most important role.

While you provide support to others, however, remember that you need to take care of yourself, too. It is normal for you to experience shock, denial, confusion, disappointment, anger, and guilt as well as sadness. Give yourself time to work through these feelings and be aware that these intense emotions may also affect you physically. Exhaustion is common, as are disturbed sleeping or eating patterns.

Importantly, you may experience grief differently to those around you. You may want to express your emotions by talking and crying, or you may express your sorrow in very different ways. Be accepting of your reactions and the differing reactions of others. There is no right or wrong way to feel or express yourself.

You may feel lost thinking about how you can best support your child and their family, how you can find ways to remember your grandchild, and where you can go for help or advice. Our fact sheet, A Grandparent's Journey provides practical tips to help answer the common questions you may have or uncertainties you feel.

Download The Journey of a Grandparent fact sheet