Coping with Grief

By Epstein, Stephen | Volta Voices, March/April 2005 | Go to article overview

Coping with Grief


Epstein, Stephen, Volta Voices


Question: Recently, my wife gave birth to our first child, a beautiful baby girl. Amidst our joy, we were told that she did not pass the newborn hearing screening, and subsequent testing revealed that she has a bilateral, severe sensorineural hearing loss. My wife and I are in excellent health, and my wife had a perfect pregnancy and an uneventful delivery. My wife is feeling very guilty that she may have been responsible for causing our daughter's hearing loss, and I am very angry that this happened to us. We can't even deal right now with all of the recommendations that are bombarding us - x-rays, genetic testing, hearing aids and cochlear implants. How can we cope with our emotions so that we can help our daughter with her hearing loss?

Answer: When parents are expecting a newborn child, it is a natural reaction to fantasize what their child might be like and what their child may become. When the child is born with a hearing loss these dreams become temporarily shattered resulting in a grieving process, which is a natural and predictable reaction to a sense of loss.

There are six stages of grieving and parents may go through one or all of them in the process of accepting their child's hearing loss. The process of grieving may take several days to several months. Most parents go through the process of grieving on their own, and some parents may need professional assistance.

The first stage of grieving is denial. Some parents initially will not admit or accept their child's hearing loss and may seek second opinions. This is simply a defense mechanism, which results in a conscious (or unconscious) attempt to conceal the child's hearing loss.

The second stage is anger. A parent becomes angry at their spouse, other family members and their doctors as a projection of their frustration. I have actually had parents walk out on me, despite my attempt to be compassionate when discussing their child's newly discovered hearing loss.

The third stage of grieving is guilt. It is human nature for parents to feel guilty, especially the mother, for being responsible for causing their child's hearing loss. This is a natural reaction, even though at least 50 percent of the children born with a hearing loss have no known etiology.

The fourth stage of grieving is depression, where a parent becomes so overwhelmed with their child's hearing loss that they find it difficult to cope with everyday situations, much less their child's newly discovered hearing loss. This type of depression is usually short-lived, in absence of other psychological problems and may require counseling or medication. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Coping with Grief
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.