Grief & Bereavement
If you have experienced a sudden infant death, you are not alone. While you may not know others in your situation, there are many other parents who have been where you are now, understand your sorrow and are available to talk with you. Many people find that accepting the support provided by those familiar with the grieving process helps them during this most difficult time.
The Department’s Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) Program sends a condolence letter and packet of information on SIDS and infant death, grief and support resources. The packet may include:
- Condolence letter
- Bereavement Support Resource Directories
- You Are Not Alone…Surviving the Death of a Baby brochure, SIDS of Illinois, Inc.
- Parents' Grief booklet, by Carol Parrott, R.N.
- Healing a Father’s Grief booklet, by William H. Schatz
- Sibling Grief booklet, by Marcia G. Scherago, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Sudden Infant Death Services of Illinois, Inc. (SIDS of Illinois, Inc.) is a nonprofit organization that brings together volunteers and professionals to provide compassionate and meaningful support services to families and individuals who suffer the death of an infant. Through the coordination of referrals, SIDS of Illinois, Inc. and other agencies can establish support and foster the needs of grieving families. A toll-free number is available to all Illinois residents needing support. Call 800-432-SIDS to speak with a bereavement support specialist. For more information, please visit the SIDS of Illinois, Inc. web site at www.sidsillinois.org.
A public health nurse from the local health department can also provide support to families. The nurse is trained to listen and share information. The nurse can respond to the needs of all family members, including siblings and other close relatives. The nurse can make arrangements for a home visit and provide families with grief counseling and make referrals when appropriate. Visits and support services will continue for as long as the family and the nurse feel are needed.
Support groups are available throughout the state to help parents, families and friends cope with the loss of a baby and the grieving process. Although there are not support groups in every county, the SUID Program will help identify support groups most geographically accessible. For a listing of support groups in your region, contact 217-557-2931.